Losing my cousin to her body. Me, in my daddy’s old tee shirt covering freckles and a stick shape. Her, so lush, so comfy cushion.
Summer sleeps beneath the stars out at the campground near the seashore. Arms not circling but butt to butt, tangential warming. Faces turned away from one another, mine to the dying embers of the campfire and hers toward the sounding ocean, to a future awakening. To the boys who stand in the sand and whistle. That bikini, oh God, I’ll never forget it, all strawberries and faded sunlight and overripe innocence.
Strolls along the promenade. My tee shirt hiding what I didn’t have to offer–a hung up development of odd angles and horses knees as some boy had said cruelly–and I am longing. Longing not for the attention of men and boys, but for my cousin’s closeness and our childhood, a late summer tide retreating.
Elizabeth Fergason is a native North Carolinian who graduated from Appalachian State University and the MA English program at San Francisco State. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Joyland, Flash Fiction Magazine, storySouth, Cold Mountain Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Wraparound South, and Typehouse Literary (Pushcart nominated). These may be connected to through elizabethfergason.com.