From the top of the lifeguard stand the world is
Pink skies and tan boys, is
She sits next to me, my best friend. Sixteen.
Ice cream melts in friendship bracelets
Down our wrists.
“Did you know they say you can see
The Milky Way here? It’s, like, the only place
Left in the country.”
Soft. “Who’s they?”
Beat. “My dad, I guess.”
I wipe my hand on the new sweatshirt.
Sticky. She considers this, watching the boys
Dive into the water a last time.
Dripping. “I wonder why.”
Fragments. “Light pollution.”
We speak in driftwood moments.
They strike empty pits in our stomachs
Like the last texts of the night.
Together. Not so.
Alone. “We have to be back.”
Down. “Almost dark anyway.”
The ghost crabs scatter at our ankles
In cell phone light.
Tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow we will see the Milky Way before
Zoe-Aline Howard is a Kernersville, NC local and early college graduate entering her college years with an Associate of Arts and high, high hopes. Beyond studying forms of poetry and reading fiction, she enjoys creating digital zines. In the fall, she will declare herself a Pre-Creative Writing major at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and begin her literary journey in full force.