summer heat – a poem

The heat is oppressive like stepping out

into suffocating silence

like the oven is turned on too high

and the buildings are caving in.

We spend our Sunday inside

reading fiction and memoirs

sipping everything from

rose gold iced lattes

to iced teas to

lavender Italian sodas

to cucumber water –

anything to distract us from this unbearable heat.

We spend the evening

wondering what to do next

We go back and forth from this or that

like we always do

until we finally settle on an expensive dinner.

Why not splurge, we’re young and fun, I say

We order calamari and cucumber cocktails

The sun starts to go down

but the heat still lingers in the air

as if trapped in a glass snow globe

We have salmon and cod on fish shaped plates

and the drinks loosen our tongues

so we can speak on the things

that are really weighing us down.

These are the experiences worth splurging on –

when we feel like we’ve made a connection

an excavation a true listening and understanding

a reckoning and supporting.

We’ll walk back home hand in hand

as the sky turns to violet fire

and the sailboats will sway

and the sweat still lingers on your upper lip

and on the back of my neck

and our wallets feel lighter

and our stomachs feel fuller

and our heads feel buzzier.

We will remember this day for how hot it was

and remember how we drank almost everything

but actual water

and we will go to bed thirsty

and naked

still finding some body part

to hold on to even when it feels like

fire.

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