by Jean A. Kiser

    The summer he turned
    Fifteen he took me to the
    Carnival on the eve of his
    Celebration. Barkers enticed
    Us into their tents. We stared
    At molded figures not common
    To our neighborhood.
    I stood close to him, protected
    By his tall Italian frame. His black
    Hair glistened, his eyes held me at
    Every movement. The new moon
    Followed us home, spying.
    It sat in our laps, drank from our faces.
    The wooden steps of my house became
    Our chairs, cradled us.
    My mother and step-father
    Asleep in their sheet-only bed.
    Their earlier words,
    A pinecone conversation.
    Across the street his mother at her window:
    A timetable of glances.
    We talked for hours: his ideals, his young man
    Plans; my girl language.
    The late evening breeze chilled our bodies,
    And we drew closer together.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.