It’s June, there are spiderwebs in my hair, and tonight the sunset came fifteen seconds earlier than it did yesterday. The hourglass has been flipped, and the sand is trickling almost too quietly to be heard—just loud enough to remind us that something sacred is slipping slowly between our fingers.
It’s June, and I let the sun-scorched grass burn my feet for a while before giving up and running for the shade. The soap we’ve been using makes my hands smell like lemons, which reminds me of stopping at gas station bathrooms on long road trips. I breathe the citrus smell as I sit at my desk and listen to the same half-minute of a violin song on repeat, because something about that one note being played so perfectly lightly wakes up another part of my mind for a breathtaking second.
It’s June and an unexpected storm darkens the windows as we’re setting the table for dinner, the powerful wind sending a backyard tree tumbling to its death. Rain drives relentlessly against the thirsty earth, and I wander outside to let it soak my hair and clothes as silver electricity dances above the treetops and thunder laughs a dangerous answer. The thought of moving a single muscle is terrifying, leaving me with no choice but to stand motionless and hope it never ends.
It’s June and everything smells like bug spray and sweat, purple summer lightning flashing between the stars, and I could be seven or seventeen and it would make no difference. We run in the shadow of the front porch light until everyone is tired, and now there’s a sibling curled up in my lap and two more wrestling barefoot in the darkness, shouting and rolling through newly cut grass as their abandoned shoes are tossed in a pile next to my own. My little brother is warm against me as he stares up at the sky and points out constellations that never existed.
It’s June and I ache to give every single person I care about a little piece of this—a chance to smell the summer-soaked darkness and see the slice of gold moon and feel the pain that comes from laughing too hard. A shooting star comes to life beyond the silhouette of my wildly spinning sister, and I feel a sudden desperation to never forget, to write this down before it’s too late. I tell them I’ll race them to the door, and there is a rush for the carport as sentences hum in my fingertips and someone pushes the door open. “There were spiders in that grass,” my brother announces, and a loud shriek echoes in the doorway as we tumble inside.
The living room is dark, and my laptop screen is far too bright. As I squint at it, fighting the deep-set feeling that none of this matters, I decide that the days are far too short to be scared of the wrong words. I don’t care if it takes a lifetime of sleeplessness and summer nights to teach me, I will learn to write what is true.