Sunday, August 7, 1994

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER


DOG DAYS OF SUMMER


not                quite             noon
the temperature spikes                        another ten degrees
hammer in hand                 I can’t get these windows  open

in this august heat I think of how Tennessee Williams’ women
survived                     naked                               summer
regal liz  poor drowned natalie   vivian eternally blanche


in this three-digit weather                 we learn to appreciate
the minute increments toward                              body heat
    we depend upon the kindness of air            through lace
         and window screens                             stripped down
             the long vowels in sentences    into slivers of glass
           practiced stance in cold showers  
                                                               compared it to chi’i
ate raspberry sorbet at midnight               chewed our nails
                                                                    myriad tongues
of fans tasting the four directions                          for breath
  the pale aftermath of sky no white spaces between words           


                    our eyes covetously transgressed
     the condemned lintels            of imagination
                             and the desire for inspiration
                                                          we hung damp sheets
across doorways and windows bared our necks 
                                                                       to any breeze                      
                                                                                                                           .                                                                                 a truce
            said it’s the right kind of night for                a fire           
                                                                             or murder
           doppelganging in the canyons         the siren’s song
                                                          stitched into a shroud


the cats flopped down     blamed us for the heat       
at tailgate parties
we learned to foretell the future in ice cubes       
     we changed the lyrics  
        crushed mint beneath our heels   slept with the tvs on
          hoisted beer skyward                no one ever chooses
                their family                                neighbors or love


when the screen door slams      it’s not hypothetically measuring 
   the temperate distance between yes and maybe


my neighbor                 retrieves his small son from my bed 
reconciles             with his girlfriend
                        they stop by                     grab the ice chest
                                                                                               I crawl inside
                                     fall through the spaces between worlds


8/7/94

This had justified margins and was set up to look like lace. Doesn't exactly transfer here.

2001  Transfer Magazine, #82, Fall issue

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