Release

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The heat has lasted a week.
The air is custard-dense
and there is tight stress
in the back of our throats.
Moving is treacle-sticky,
in muggy mental conversations
we’ve desultorily contemplated
the possibility of sticking to the walls
like spiders, our feet coated
in melted pitch.

We sit on the porch,
flies trapped in sultry amber
the color of the lilac-dun sky,
hoping for a sweet-water breeze.
When it comes it breaks our
syrupy-still standoff;
you tilt your head forward,
hair like the smoke from the
burning upper pasture falling
up around your face,
leaving strands like glossy seaweed
trapped on the caramel skin
of your neck.

There are war-drum rumbles in the
distance, they taunt us with the
promise of something more than the
wispy candy-floss cirrus
melting in the sky like
sugar on a tongue.
The sky lowers and darkens,
pressing like a haze of
lavender cigarette smoke.

Rain falls, fat and heavy.
Puffs of cinnamon-brown dust rise
as the droplets strike.
The susurrus sound picks up,
drumming into our skin
to make sure we have not
forgotten it.
The noise burns and steams in our ears,
like words spoken with fire.
The smoldering-wet language
licks our memories of heat clean;
we reach out our hands
and cup the water, like an offering.
It dissolves us like the mugginess
never could or did,
and we turn to look at one another.





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