I offer nothing save this want,
this tepid press into breathless flesh.
Damned hot days.
Blacktop blisters where dirt meets road,
dogs with slats in their sides pant,
watch the August air waver and dance;
an idle promenade with shadow and sun.
This season of strain
pains its way across our surface,
lays a path in rivel and rut.
Regret brings us to a vacant place;
faint thrusts erase words, crumble thought
to dust that cannot lift itself to scatter.
Promises culled from sweat
flitter by sill and frame, their sway
traces the fretwork of your face.
Catbirds simmer in cedars that stroke
dry fingers against the pane;
familiar ghosts bend toward the husk of sound.
A storm stirs, lightning robbed of voice
sheets through the close haze of day.
Yellow Jackets hum in paper nests,
their anger cools beneath juniper shade.
Somewhere in the thinning distance,
dogs slip away without goodbye.
We shed our skin, twine sticky and shorn
on sheets with roses faded down to pink;
count beats in our strained necks,
watch the rise of breath, catch its fall
in the hungry mouths of opened palms.
In this gloaming, I will see your smile.