Summer: Between Two Houses – Hunter Blackwell

At four, I rocked on my knees
in front of the fridge, whispering
parts of the gospel. There is nothing to make it stop—
it happens all the time with 

mezzo screams and throaty basso 
competing. Tensions boiling, whistling 
from underneath bedroom doors. Neither of
my parents sound like they are winning.

At sixteen, I stand on my mother’s porch,
watching my brother ride his bike up
and down the block, footballs and basketballs
discarded in front of my mother’s evergreens.

The wind carries laughter. My brother and his friends
shout, “Car!” to pause the three v. three.
If I stand on that porch too long, the whistle of the
wind reminds me of arguments lost.

My brother never heard them. They had divorced by then,
he only knows two rooms, two houses,
playing in the street at our mother’s house
and sock ball in our father’s apartment.

If I were to ask him what he remembers
during all our summers together, I wonder if he’d
mention the times he skinned his knees,
and I carried the bathroom to him in the living room,

or if he remembers when I fixed him lunch
before his adventures at his best friend’s house,
giving him a watch so he’d be back before mom
got home, or when he bit me to get out of

a chicken tender lunch? Maybe he’ll remember
us watching YouTube videos midday when
he got into gaming. Maybe he’ll remember crashing
into the sofa with his friends and watching movies,
wishing summer to last forever. 

I want summer to last forever for him.
Hunter Blackwell

Hunter Blackwell (she/her) is a Black and Native bisexual poet. Her work has appeared in The Write Launch, Barren Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, and others. She’s a novice crockpot user and cosplayer. Her baking adventures are scarce and mostly box mix. Feel free to drop recipes on her twitter @hun_blackwell or check out her website:

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