Northern Boys by Olivia Mandile

Tangles by Bella Harris
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Northern Boys

In summer when bonfires are lit fast
the air smells like cedar trees
and it is cold in Northern states where
we congregate around silent lakes.

This boy looks at me from across the lawn,
his familiar mouth all midnight turned down
at the corners. He is unwavering
but I am falling, an early Autumn,
a backwards turning clock
when he looks at me.

In my mind, I am already undressed.
I am already chest deep
in lakewater. Connecticut lakes are
too cold. I am gooseflesh and shivers.

Later he speaks to me softly
next to a dying fire.
He tells me he loves a girl who dances
and writes poetry in French
and all I hear is
not you, not you, not you

The bonfire dies and I fall asleep
on summer grass.

Olivia Mandile

Olivia Mandile was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and studies Biology and Society at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Currently, she is a poetry reviewer for Lux, the Undergraduate Creative Review at ASU. She enjoys petting cats and cooking vegetarian food.