A Midsummer Night's Heat

by Sabrina Sanchez

Editor's note: 'A midsummer night's heat' was the second piece published in our Tan Lines series in Summer 2017. The series also includes 'roots' by Amelia Stanford and 'The Seizure Realm' by Abbey Jasmine Watt.


Headlights roam over cracked pavement

leading to a gravel path to a dirt road

to an old plantation property –

a “secret warehouse location”


Two boys lounge on the hood

of an old yellow station wagon

sharing a joint while girls and boys

stand in overgrown grass taking

long drags from bummed menthols


Wet heat penetrates the screened in

porch – refuge from the marshland

mosquitos – half empty cans of PBR

litter an ash covered coffee table


Through a cramped living room filled

to the brim with warm bodies

through the kitchen to the bathroom

cluttered with boxers in the sink and

a wicker chair in the shower


Crickets and cicadas sing to dominate

the night air but the party inside vibrates

the aging wood floors where feet shuffle

left and right to SoundCloud DJs


Dancing in darkness moisture slides down

skin as a body nears and hairs stand on end

(to dance next to that

body to touch that body

to fuck that body)


Clad in black with his head bobbing to

and fro brown hair shaking off his

scent of cigarettes and moonlight

inches away and out of reach


Eyes meet in the dim fog then glance

away hiding intentions that the body

reveals as songs play on til

well water attempts to quench that thirst

for someone else – for desires unmet


Friends’ hands clasp at arms pulling

whispering “sit down sober up” and

“we need to go home” hours past curfews

and bedtimes fingers grip car keys to


Drive through muddy tracks off the

old plantation property to the

dirt road to the gravel path to the

cracked pavement where headlights

roam and cravings are dulled

Thumbnail image by Angel Boyd.