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In the Summer

Adrienne Marie Barrios

In the summer, I walk down a sidewalk in a city not known to me, and the unexpected scent of floral soap blistering under the humid sun transports me to my childhood, though my memories of those years so often lost tend to linger on my trauma—but not this, this sweet reminder of bike rides to the lake over sidewalks dusted in soft pink whisps, of ripe blackberries plucked from vines surrounding the dilapidated park in thick droves, vines into which I would burrow through wild tunnels before I knew to be afraid of fangs and thorns; a sweet perfume that tugs so gently on the nose, that beckons: come, let go, lie in the grass and climb through the bushes and taste the dirt on the berries that weren’t grown to be eaten but to be plucked, trampled, pollinated under the lush boughs of the soap tree flowers.

About the Author

Adrienne Marie Barrios is a disabled, neurodivergent writer and editor. She writes about mental health and relationships, the interplay between the two and the external world. Her work has been featured in such magazines as X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, Punt Volat, Drunk Monkeys, superfroot, and mac(ro)mic. She serves as editor-in-chief for Reservoir Road Literary Review and edits award-winning novels. Find her online at

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