Sara Tell Me Everything (2016 Tinderbox Editors’ Prize Winner)

tell me all about you / how the corn stalks in your hometown lean to the left / even in summer’s dead heat / tell me about the time your mom hugged Willie Nelson at the Jamboree / what our lives will be like / if we are sitting under this same tree a year from now / dear Sara / one day we’ll go to Mexico together / swim in the cenote we watched so many YouTube videos about / where the teal of the water shimmers like wet nail polish / dear Sara / our first swim this summer in the Allegheny River and it’s only May / we pack our lunches / peanut butter sandwiches / your favorite cheese-stuffed pretzel from the Sheetz up the road / melted Hershey bars / you put my fingers in your mouth / I put my tongue along your collarbone / I have the sudden urge to tell you everything / dear Sara / the best way to tell you anything / is to tear off the labels of our beer bottles and make a picture / here is Ohio / here is Cincinnati / Howell Avenue / your apartment / here are my shoes on your welcome mat / my keys on your counter / your hand on my cheek / dear Sara / I will write you a letter every week in September / I will take a shot of Knob Creek with you in Nashville, Tennessee / and not make a face / dear Sara / let’s get to know each other again and again / go back to Manhattan for another February / fumble with my button-fly / stomp our feet in the slush / no extra socks / here is where you ate pizza in college with your last four dollars / here on this bench is where you made one friend / where you left this town for that one / dear Sara / there is right now / our soft hands / my backseat / dear Sara / there is tomorrow and the day after that

Lisa Summe was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio where she earned her BA and MA in English at the University of Cincinnati. She is an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech, associate editor of Toad, and senior editorial assistant of The Cincinnati Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Tampa Review, Smartish Pace, RHINO, and elsewhere.