evening|summer / by Christina Rosalie

As the sky grows dark, the twilight feels heavy like velvet, and sweet like licorice. Fireflies come out, and Venus too, above us blinking from among the pink and pale indigo of heaven. So far up, she twirls, casts off the sun’s bright light, and sends it back to us like a love letter; a secret message.

It's nearly dark and maybe we all make wishes looking up. We see fading contrails; the sky turning to night.

Bats swoop as we gather around the fire with marshmallows on hand-carved sticks; the boys run laps around the house then ask for seconds, thirds, their faces sticky sweet. Sprout eats corn off the cob, then goes docilely to bed, his hair smelling like vanilla and wood smoke; his arm hooked around my neck, a small piece of heaven.

We eat until we’re full then lull; find conversation; lull again. There are kebabs with pineapple and purple onions; fresh corn with butter; grilled nan; steak.; brownies for dessert; wine.

The kids head indoors and their laughter floats through the open window and yellow light spills each rectangle onto the bluing lawn.

I spill wine on my jeans, my feet are grass stained, the boys are covered with dirt and it is perfect. Guitar fills the night air with lilting notes; our faces are light by flame, thrushes call until the sun's long gone.

It’s summertime. Here, this, finally.