August is coming

Talk to the heat

A poem by Michael B. Conway

Talk to the heat;

it’ll make madness seem sane.
Listen to it screech cicada screams
at straw hat uncles with muttering hearts,
turning tiffs into fistfights
and miles into neverminds.

It’ll turn the house on the highway
into an abstract oil,
and browbeat the yellow dog under the floorboards
to chew his tail to the bone
and heave soul sighs into the dust.

It hates your grandmother–
whips her from her kitchen and her cornbread
to the shotgun porch
with only a funeral fan to chase the buzzing.

It jumpstarts lovers — steals their clothes.
They moan and stink, even before their first icewater kiss
drives them to bed to slap and slide
and leave sweat silhouettes on cotton sheets;
Hiroshima lovers,
seared into eternal embrace
by a flash of madness.

Talk to the heat;
It’ll lie out loud,
and promise to leave town by sundown.
But it hides in stones
and unforgiven slights,
waiting for tomorrow
to gun you down.

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