Ashmi Ranjan


It’s like the day after a party
The room no longer warm with bodies
Cleaned and tidied
All the laughter and light forgotten
It is getting cooler now 
The sun is setting now  
And how brilliant?
The last kisses of heat
The way the wind takes our faces in her immaculate hands 
Brilliant green petals turn dark so quickly
Breathing the last airs of this sticky summer 
Carry the fleeces up from the basement 
Strip the sweat-stained cotton from our dark skin
Run into the frigid lake, laughing for no reason at all saying
I don't want to talk about it
And on Sunday mornings decorate the backyard with wet linens
And keep them out long after they’ve dried, just because
The summer will come again, this much we can count on 
But this youth, this vibrancy
Our dense laughter and tight bodies
Let’s say goodbye to all this
Burn the bathing suits and sandals
Catch the ashes of youth on your tongue
The fire burns deep and full
There is no need for kindling

Ashmi Ranjan attends Athens High School; Ranjan won second place in the Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest for Michigan High School students. For more information on the contest, please visit the Albion College English Department website.

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