At 6 PM in Tempe, I am thinking about
kissing you by the tea kettle
in a kitchen that smells like basil
and outside the sky thinks
I am too bold and she blushes
all pink and pink and wine red.

The air on my balcony is humming
as the boys above me smoke.
They are burning buildings.
You are the kindling, the oxygen;
I am the long hose from the fire truck
And now, the 8 o’clock sky is ash black.

I kiss the slope of your neck as you pour
boiling water into teacups over lavender tea
and every night like this feels like home.


Olivia Mandile is an undergraduate studying Biology and Society at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. There, she serves as a poetry reviewer for Lux, Undergraduate Creative Review. She has been published online by Words Dance Publishing.