Summer Camp Love Letter
By Sylvi Stein
Summer camp carries a particular kind of magic in your life. I wanted to capture the whimsical romance of teenage relationships in this prose poem.
I will never love you as much as the ocean—or, I will love you in a different way. I hope you can understand that. Being with you will be like the summer after third grade—waking up every morning and not knowing why I’m so happy, and then remembering all over again. I will cut the crusts off your sandwich at lunch in the dining hall, something small and tender amidst all this chaos. I will paint my toenails for you. I will use my nice conditioner for you. I will shave my legs for you (but you won’t care if they’re shaved, we’ll sit on my bed and laugh about hairy ape legs). It’s okay if you don’t like the beach. It’s okay if you like smooth jazz. I will make you get your hair wet, and you will make me listen to Miles Davis on the car ride home. I want you to ask me to the dance. I want to spend a ridiculous amount of time getting my outfit ready and then just sit outside the rec hall and play cards with you. I want to learn to braid hair and then practice on you. I want to sign up for yoga by the lake and then skip it to go swimming with you. I want to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream outside with you as the sun melts us into dripping puddles. I want to hand you the water pitcher at dinner and feel your fingers brush mine, a secret language only the two of us understand. I want to draw charcoal designs on the back of your hands with the ashy remains of Friday night campfire. I want to make crappy friendship bracelets with you on the art porch while it rains. I want to sit on the splintery picnic benches with you after dinner and talk until the mosquitoes chase us inside. I want to be late to evening activities because we were watching the sun go down. I want to hold your hand and pretend it’s not a big deal, even though I think it is. I want you to leave me notes under my pillow. I want to wake you up to look at the full moon. I want all the cliches you can give me.
Sylvi Stein is a senior in New York, NY and a lover of poetry, prose, art, photography, the ocean, sunsets and the moon. Her biggest pet peeve is when someone judges a book by its cover or its width. Sylvi considers herself a writer because, plain and simple, she loves writing (and reading). If she were a superhero, she would love to be able to fly, but mind-reading would probably be more practical.
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