august, and we want to be young
Sprite-bottled spirits and we’re set
on the three of us sharing it; cross the estate in skirts thigh-high,
clinging, with thick heels clicking and necks
lace-wrapped, singing to the sky, tempting any god into a good night.
E with the original offering—
i’ll leave the door open bring whoever
let urself in @ seven
Rich-people house. Custom-built in the tiger’s shadow. Top-of-town nowhere
with gaping gardens, a coded gate and spiral stairs.
Mouths on mouths and open throats; glittering, lined eyes,
and tipsy jelly between blooming smiles
until tongues and lips are bleeding blue green red; some in from work,
dashing from taxi to bathroom with a quick-change skirt;
frames off the walls, tipped and nudged;
a parasol’d table with a cig carton; bodies in laps;
red acrylics to sink into scalp;
we sweat out the end of summer.
Ice-buckets at the back door: Bulmers,
Carlsberg, Heineken, premixed Pink Gin,
and the host passes me in
a spin of blonde and pretty perfume:
take whatever you want, babe
and I do,
god, do I—tomorrow’s sun
and yesterday’s leftovers. Use it all tonight, young,
in this fall-apart country, as we’ll ever be.
Picture-perfect poses frozen
by camera flashes on the house perimeter.
A girl cries in my arms about a boy, insists,
it’s my fault
when I say
I’ll kill him
then she’s digging hands
into my waist, her tear tracks gone glittery, laughing
halfway to hysteria, sweaty dancing, all-over happy—
(a forehead kiss for me)
you’re so lovely
—and scorching me from throat to stomach.
We doomsday rush.
We hand-hold. We love
any body desperately from head to toe.
Intimidate the clock into trailing back. One more go,
please; a rewind, to love and smile and empty-promise—tonight
unbound and living lifetimes.
This is it: youth, youth and—
(She screams at me in front of everyone.
I say, I’m sorry I’ve been bad to you
and form a truce between our joined hands and embarrassed, fireside crying;
calm and close for a moment tonight—we won’t speak in the morning.)
—I swear this is all we’ll ever need.
Katie Harper Garrett (she/her) writes about howls in the night and what’s burning in the kitchen. She studies at University College Dublin and has found a temporary home in Amsterdam. Her work features in tiny spoon mag, The Outpost Éire, and superfroot. Visit her website to read and learn more.