A Campfire Song, or What I Did for Summer Vacation

The lyrics

are lost to childhood;

even the cold and yellow

light of

nostalgia cannot illuminate

them: that

campfire song,

or the

telephone number

she

wrote on your hand on

the last day,

that last, hot day

in August that only

compounded your

already sweaty

nervousness;

sweat does that; sweat

smears ink

just as easy as

it does

July days

into a

single

mass

of

sweltering

memory

when suddenly

you and she

are on different

busses,

too

young, too

stupid, too

thirteen to

understand why

your gut is screaming

the importance

of this goodbye, why

“see ya”

is as small and  

insufficient

as trying to put out that campfire by peeing on it.

Fire still sings,

“a boy and a girl in a little canoe,”

while you stare

at your once-stained hand

in its flickering memory,

but you can never

remember if they ever

kissed

while that giant moon

shined on

and on.

A Campfire Song Banner Image

Brian Quinn

Brian Quinn is a culinary arts instructor (a traveling adjunct) at the college level in southeast Wisconsin. Several of his individual poems have been published in print publications, including Burdock Magazine, and a full length manuscript of his poems, The Tint of Glass Awnings, was published in 2013.

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