This Heat

Monday, July 3, 2017


Here's what I've learned about summer: you can't escape it and you shouldn't want to. 
I'm not sure why the extra hours of light or increased temperatures are so cataclysmic. People shed their winter skin and cicadas rub their legs together with such intensity it's hard not to join. Or is it the other way around?

The heat is oppressive, like the weight of another body on yours. It is a welcome thing, at first, the warmth from within. But after a while it gets heavy, uncomfortable. You start to shift and squirm underneath, thinking that wouldn't it be nice if it was just a little cooler? If there was a breeze? If that hipbone wasn't digging into your thigh, if that trickle of sweat did not descend behind your knee?

The heat, it manifests as waves above the asphalt and moisture on your skin. There is no line heat does not cross, no area too intimate for its invasion. It pools in bellybuttons and traces down spines.  Your skin glints, shiny and golden in the rays, an inescapable landing pad for the white fluff the trees are shedding. You can pick one off, grasp the marshmallow white between your fingernails, but two more will take its place.

Cars will fill to bursting, ticking time bombs lined up along the curb. Eggs will fry, plastic will drool, petals will shrivel. Someone down the street will reach their breaking point and throw the cast iron pan at their spouse, driven insane by the weight of it. I don't know, they'll say. I just can't even think straight. My brain is boiling in this heat this heat this heat.


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