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.
The heat scours the landscape
and the humidity wraps itself in my hair,
creating damp ringlets against my neck.
The rustle of desiccated leaves,
scratching the dry itch
of the hot southern breeze,
is all that’s left of the garden.
Rooms remain darkened,
against the late afternoon sun,
with only the sound of the ceiling fan
in the drowsy halflight.
It is August
and the summer has been long.
protected against the brutal sun,
the windows stand covered
with bamboo shades and cotton drapes,
armor against the seasons heat.
fans whir and lift the curtains
as if to peek out to the world-
a winters feeling in mid summer.
the rooms oddly smaller
with no sky at the panes.
we read and wait-
staying cool and shaded-
longing for freedom
from our confines,
to the world beyond,
at the first sign of rain.