After Olivia Gatwood
I want to feel summer again like a girl
like she is standing right next to me breathing
hot breath into my ear she whispers
like car rides and smells like sweat
and is never still, still anything
like when I was fourteen and rode my red bicycle
to the ocean every day to bodysurf and had
to drag the bike through the sand
I want to complain about how heavy it is and
how hot the beach feels on bare feet

I want to drive highway one like when I was barely 17
then cry in the passenger seat of my friend’s
car when it’s her turn because it’s dark and my
stomach feels like it’s curling in on itself
but then she’ll make me laugh about the
older guy from the 24-hour donut shop
who she had a crush on until he
gave her his number at midnight one time

I want to take a trip on the coast and not care where I’ll go,
just that I will have other girls with me
and that is safety
we will sleep on the floor of a hotel room
we each chipped in twenty-five dollars to pay for
and complain about the thin blankets and argue
about which direction we’ll drive tomorrow and we will
all check that the door is locked before going to bed
I want to girl, again,
and not talk to any man we don’t have to
wave to other girls who drive by and
pretend we will not stop the car until we find
a place worthy of us
where the men cannot reach us
where it is summer, again

Mycah Miller is a Santa Cruz, CA based poet, artist, and student, and most recently was a member of the 2018 Legendary Collective Slam Team, the winners of the 2018 Southwest Shootout held in Albuquerque. She currently attends SJSU as an English major. She creates art as an escape from and commentary on the outside world in a continuous attempt to both understand and connect with others. Her poetry is done on whatever paper, napkin, or phone is closest, and her art is done with various materials in various places in various bursts of sudden inspiration. In her free time, she can be found not writing enough, drinking tea, and riding her motorcycle(s). Her work is a protest, a love letter, and a canvas she has weaved herself thoroughly into. She can be contacted through her facebook page “Mycah Miller Art,” Instagram @MycahMillerArt, or emailed at