Friday, June 24, 2011

two-step

Sweat beads upon my forehead, sweat glistens on my arms. Sweat soaks through the thin green cotton t-shirt, damp fabric sticking to my chest and shoulders. The sun beats down all my doors, it burns away every shadow though the day is soft and mild. I can feel the heat burning away, all this energy trapped in my pallid, splotchy flesh. Only a handful of days into summer, mostly only warm ones, and I am ready to abandon the kitchen forever. I squander a few more hours, daylight taking all it is due.

These are the days of waiting, the routine and ritual of one foot after the other. This is the ring danced before the ashes and the fall. Children laughing in pool and sprinkler, the neighborhood dogs barking unrestrained. Armies of ice-cream trucks and strangers straggling in passing to bum a smoke. I carry the aches of labor and indolence, subtle moments weighing surprisingly heavy on my back. It is that incandescence of doubt, the languor of the ever unknown that grants what little comfort comes crawling along. Heat and rot and obscurity the only payments that arrive on time.

The words wear out, used again and again without grace or tact. The native tongue runs laps around the inevitable drain. The sun keeps the earth in tow as we spin and spin, wobbling through our particular seasons. The days are lean and fleeting, flickering vaguely against the dank screen of perception. Years take flight as we grow so small and tired and gray. Every fire forsaking its fuel, every spark easing into ashes.

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