Ashley Marco

Copic markers and pencil on paper. 9 in by 12 in. Illustrated by Katharen Hedges.

[Copic markers and pencil on paper. 9 in by 12 in. Illustrated by Katharen Hedges.]

Ode to the Shorts I’m Wearing Right Now

I remember sitting in the seat behind the passenger seat of my grandparents’ car

My older sister driving in traffic for the first time

My legs sticking to the tan leather as she successfully switched lanes, a first, a new greatest accomplishment

That night I slept in my shorts

My wonderful, size 18 high-waisted shorts from Forever 21

I slept at the bottom of my best friend’s bed, her monster feet digging into my side

I wore my shorts for three days straight

Which, admittedly, is pretty gross

But I felt like summer

I felt like the soles of feet burning on hot cement

Like chlorinated water dripping out of hair

Like picnics in pajamas at the park down the hill

And it was all due to a pair of shorts

How many girls tried them on, I wonder, in the fitting rooms at the mall?

How many turned away from them at the thought of their exposed thighs?

How many decided they didn’t need them?

Shorts are not said to be anything special

But to me

They are heat and sweat

Not from exertion, but from the sun beaming down from the sky

A too-bright hello

They are laughter and fireworks

And pink lemonade

They are dares from friends I haven’t seen in a month to drink straight lemon juice

Or to lick a stick of deodorant

They are the soul of summer

And I will wear them in the autumn and the spring

To remind myself how much I love the summer

And to feel my legs sticking to leather seats

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