Summer Dance

by Andrea M. Newton

We sat on the porch all summer,
sipped Cokes so hot and flat
they turned my stomach.
But they were something against the sun
that scorched the grass,
incited swarms of mosquitos
to war against our skin
and the familiar shikta-shikta
of the old fan in the window,
blades beating helplessly
against waves of heat-filled air.
My shirt stuck to my skin,
glued by humidity slicked to sweat
when it glazed across my body.
The air was too heavy to breathe,
and sweat stung my eyes
while I scratched bug bites
to tiny spots of blood
that smeared across my legs
when I scratched again.
You slapped at mosquitos,
and drained your Coke,
wiped sweat from your forehead
with the bottom of your T-shirt,
waiting for night to come
and cool the heat from your skin.
When it came, it brought the stars,
tiny dreams that danced
in the sky above us
to the melody the summer breeze
weaved through the trees.
You took my hand,
pulled me up from where I sat,
my legs curled under me.
Our steps matched the stars
as we twirled across the porch,
danced down the steps
and across the grass.
You spun me faster and faster
until we collapsed on the ground,
our laughter ringing to the stars
that still reeled above us,
glittering jewels we wished on,
secret wishes and silent promises
that winter brought to an end.
And, now that snowflakes freeze
the stars in place,
I wait for summer's heat
to thaw the ice,
and start the dance again.