A cloud on a hot July day
gives the illusion of coolness in its shadow
but it never drops rain
or the temperature
or even a breeze to evaporate the sweat
as it trickles.
Across the brittle landscape, rabbits pant in the heat
as the asphalt rises in the yeast of the sun
to bloom sticky and black.
Writhing along the road, dust devils
stir up depressions where the small brown sparrows bathe.
and the song of heat swells
in the throats of cicadas. Or is it wings
or appendages that rasp the tune?
Shimmering pale blue water rises
on the road. The heats playing oasis
in this desert of an afternoon. A mirage,
an illusion, a forfeiture of the senses,
summers sleight of hand. A cloud
on a hot July day.