Arts + Scene » Poetry

HEAT

(A Winter Fantasy)

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Satisfactions of silence, rocking
to and fro in changeless heat.
These are the dog days, but without dogs —
smooth leaves shrivel and scallop,
enduring the brilliance beyond chlorophyll,
green more out of inertia than natural force.

I rock with the rhythms of breathing,
chestfuls of heat that will not wane,
even if nothing drives this body's furnace,
but something in the swaying calls up a glimmer,
the lips flicker, the eyes crinkle
with the child's playground sense of to and fro.

Yes, these are the last full-out baking
purges of the spring steams uprising
like so many departing souls. But we're still here!
Flesh endures, though slowed to a crawl,
while the mists gather in the upper reaches,
to re-condense, to return, to fall.

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