The heat ― the close of another August day.
I rummage drawers of half-sleep for the voices
of my three aunts, lest time erase
the special timbre of their speech: the way
Ann’s laughter survives, despite the din
of a decade’s chatter, erupts in raspy
bursts − gin fizz from a barkeep’s
wand. Her Lucky Strike’s aloft in two fingers.
Flo died next, yet I still hear that twang
in her vowels, the wah-wah of a trumpet
solo at the Sons of Italy dance. Last, let
Ginny’s cigarillo tones request a tango.
My memory’s the vessel — an old jar, lid
punched with holes, to let the fireflies live.
Featured in In the Margins (2017)
First published in Broadkill Review (2015)