73 Degrees

When a Tennessee breeze
Brings a lull to our chilled
I step outside.
73 degrees and dropping,
I am waiting
For memory to melt me
Dethaw the deep-freeze
Inside my skin.
At 73 degrees and climbing,
I thought ice could never
Creep in through
Our fault lines. Abigail would walk
From Barrett Drive to meet me
As I walked Fairview
And we met awkwardly
And easily
In the middle.
73 degrees and steady,
I was a girl who felt
As strongly as any girl
Of sixteen
Nineteen now and don’t know how it all
My Honeysuckle changed to Henbit
Far too late
To fall out of love with its fake taste.
73 degrees and dropping now—
I’ve learned to wear a coat at last
Against our Tennessee breeze.
I slip my flip-flops from my feet
And surrender my skirts to warmer days.
I love the warmth I keep with me—
But tomorrow
I must protect it.
63 degrees,
53 degrees,
40, and dropping.

Bailey Kittle

Bailey Kittle is currently an English Major at Cumberland University. She received the Alice Hegan Rice Award for Fiction for one of her short stories in April of 2018, but she has experimented with several other styles of writing as well, including poetry, creative nonfiction, and genre fiction.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN