The Song of Eternal Summer by Jessica Zimmerman

Anyone can tell you what heat sounds like.
A steady, thrumming hum
that fades in and out
In and out
It’s the song sung by thick, heavy air
and instruments that perform
inside a small square of fence.
Cicadas in one section,
their notes the strongest of all.
The melody.
The part you can taste,
And even though you can’t see it,
you know it is colored a rich, lush green.
Birds add their trills,
passing stories back and forth.
You can hear the freedom of impossibly wide open skies
in their voices.
Leaves dance along.
They clap their feathered hands.
The sound is soft, a whisper, but audible nonetheless.
The sun belts out a final solo,
remembering the day in all its glory
before it sinks below the stage
The musicians pause–
a breath of intermission–
so the stars can take their places.

Yes, it was a symphony she knew well.
Who could need any more than that one perfect song?
Its wonder was ineffable,
but how could she listen when the rhythm of remembered waves still crashed in her ears?
How could a backyard band
satisfy her
when she’d heard the echoes of mountains, valleys, and caves?
Treasures awaited.
The world held something much grander
for her.
She wanted more,
and the great wide earth could provide.
Adventures called out to her,
“Wealth, love, fame–
Take them, they’re yours.
The sea shouts for you!
The cities stomp to your beat!”
And they did.
She’d seen how much brighter
the stars could shine
in those far away lands.
Out there,
it was enough
for as long as she stayed,
But she was drawn back each time.

No matter what she told herself,
the sound of heat
that anyone could recognize
was her favorite.
Though she didn’t know it,
the musicians on that fenced in stage played in earnest
for her.
A sheltered song,
a never changing song.
They held onto a small piece of peace
for her.
It was exactly what she needed.
A simple summer song
from a simple summer town.
It wasn’t close to perfect,
but it was home.
It was the tune she would dance to
no matter how many oceans she crossed
or mountains she climbed.
It was her hidden gem.
It was the song of her summer,
and in that moment, it could last



Jessica Zimmerman
Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.



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