Nica dreamed of a night with no cold. Her bare knees rested together, her ankles askew, her feet pressed flatly on the asphalt, skin to stone. She would never mind the junebugs, even if they flew through the loops of her hair and into the periwinkle sky. She dreamed of a night of warm rain, and how it would dampen her thin cotton tee until it stuck to her collarbones. She imagined pulling it off, hands grabbing opposite sleeves, hugging herself, stretching the fabric, bending and wiggling. So that rain could skip off her skin and sometimes form droplets. Nighttime, so the color of her chest was shrouded, and her hands could rest freely on the sidewalk behind the curb she sat upon, fingers splayed and palms driving firmly into the ground.

Image: Mark Rothko, Untitled [Blue, Green, and Brown], 1952 (alternatively dated to 1951), pigmented hide glue and oil on canvas. Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia