Entwined legs on the coarse, gray-weathered deck boards.
It is summer, and we are joyful. The air is oppressive: each breath feels like a swimmer forced to sustain life by growing gills and breathing under water.
She sweats against my chest, but I hold her tightly for the camera as mommy demanded, and this makes her giggle. All around, the sound of cicadas scream. They are the loon of the south, all crazy and mournful, and their screams make us happy. It is summer.
We'd long since grown accustomed to the drone of the summer sounds. Tree frogs bellowed shrilly, so loud, so tiny. Later, we'd go searching for these little brown prizes. We'd hold them tightly in our sweaty palms and feel their fear escape them in a rush. Tree frog pee pee doesn't cause warts, mommy says.
As the sun falls out of the sky, we sit together on the deck, still twined together like broom straws, now arguing over the headphones, which are not attached to a cassette player, but we like to pretend.
Bugs scream past our ears every moment, it seems, some circling (sweat bees), some hovering like ghostly apparitions before our faces, blocking our views (gnats), some landing and landing, never choosing an adequate spot, able to lift straight up like tiny helicopters (flies).
The boards are rough in places, smoothed by time and tread in others. To walk barefoot on this deck is to temp fate. Many splinters are pulled from our tiny, soft kicks.