summer solstice is june 21.
in another life, we lit bonfires into the night. maidens bathed in the glistening rivers. men with large beards drank mead and punched each other because of those glistening maidens. you were one of those maidens, and i bloodied your father’s nose that night, but he laughed at me like i had just punched a tree. he was so drunk he couldn’t feel a thing. by morning, i had his blessing and bruises all over my face.
in another life, we dressed as kachinas and danced to the sun. in the back of our minds, we worried about the size of our crop in the morning. we worried about our children in this age when nobody remembered the old dances when the spaniards came to teach us of the feast of st john with the edge of a whip. we didn’t want our children to forget the way of the corn peoples.
in another life, you left me for the temple of vesta every solstice and this was the only time all year long you could go back to the place where you happy. before i was too drunk all the time, and the kids were grown and gone and i’m here chasing after temple prostitutes screaming your name, and the names of our children that i haven’t seen in so long.
in another life, we went together to the church to pray to st john that christ may return, and call us both home to his light. we are so old now, and all this summer fills our bones with memories of other feast days, other feasts. and we prayed that winter may come for us, quietly.
in another life, we were just monkeys, staring at the sky. we didn’t understand why it seemed like time had slowed down so much in all this heat. we sat on a branch and looked up at the sky and felt like we had all the time in the world now, in all this sun. we made slow love in that heat.