August Heatwave

Putting underwear, pants, tank tops and socks in the freezer, for summer
is here and not going easy.

Feel that tug of sweat behind your ear, the glossy sheen
that coats your shoulders, the myriad of ways you plan to survive

lined up as a grocery list in your mind. Drink the water, dunk your head in,
leaning against the wall in a cold shower, ice cream

for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, too hot for arguments or debates,
we make rounds with the box fan, laugh

and curse as our thighs stick to the bus seats. All our eyes are gazing
up at the sky, praying to whatever gods might listen,

asking for rain, begging for a cloud, hoping
for night’s graceful shroud to blanket us in cool sighs and long gusts.

My hair curls and frizzes, my eyelashes flash with shine, the scars
I harbor, walk naked through crowds;

my banged up knees, shredded, knobby elbows, white gashes aplenty.
I have daydreams of the fire hydrant outside my window

exploding, a geyser of frothing blue blowing up
and drenching my apartment building, filling all the rooms to the point

that we’re all swimming. I think of the beach, calculate
how far the walk… It’s too much. I give in, and collapse upon the floor.

11 thoughts on “August Heatwave

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