Katie Harper Garrett

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 Itomorrow’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.