SALT FLAT AUGUST
The neighbor in her youth is smiling at my Cuisinart and behind the door from which Brazilian music comes comes also queer noise.
The rain fell seminal down the August-flat day. Cardboard here. By “flat” I mean lacking curves but still shapely.
The neighbor’s youthful pluck does nothing to cure her earnest half-smile. She is like a cold-burning day in a year we can’t remember.
Fahrenheit says sixty-six. I try to instill in my students a sense of warped responsibility: make the world your own bad son. Salt accumulates on a flat surface.
Upstairs, lurks, pantheon, Freon. I don’t know where to get Freon. The Freon black market is closed. I wish they wouldn’t move to Chicago, a flat city.
Windswept is a way to describe a leafy street. Asphalt, fresh paint. Skittering. America is far off and curved if you stand enough away from the globe.
The salt left on the rim of the glass is like the sugar on the lips of the broomstick-shaped neighbor. Both invite and repel.
The mouth of a child in slight weather moves but only produces syllables not language. Across the alley apartment dwellers drink. White dog moves like honey.
It’s an escape fantasy invented by the primary players but two of the three think they only dreamt it.
I am speaking inside a box the things I dare not write for fear of banishment or a stranger’s finger on my cheek.
We’ve moved this far into August my favorite month. America is impossibly away.