In Your City

Originally published in Clay Literary’s RAVEN: https://www.clayliterary.com/post/raven-issue-seven-08-30-2020

eyes squeeze shut all at once with
wishes whispered under breaths to be
anywhere else, anywhere cooler than

the constant heatwave of near 100 degrees.
Toes dip into makeshift sandy beaches
along the city’s river while children

play in water fountains next to erected sandcastles.
But here in my city, it’s another monotonous
day. I am wide-eyed making 11:11 wishes to be

with you in your city, your heatwave, along your river,
walking the streets when it’s your midnight.
My sweat drips waiting for you to wipe it away.

I’m waiting for the days where we open windows
to a gentle breeze and kick away the sheets for relief.

Call It What It Is

Heatwaves radiating across the country,
common occurrences every summer
now occurring every season.

Summer stretches long into Fall,
makes a cameo during Winter
And begins earlier every Spring.

It’s a heatwave, they say.
No, it’s global warming.
No, it’s now called climate change, haven’t you heard?
No, that’s all fake news.
It’s only a heatwave, you see.

Varying heatwaves from place to place,
it’s unheard of in cities without air conditioning.
And now 130 recorded in the middle of Death Valley,
it’s a long streak of near-death experiences for everybody.

Sure, tell them it’s just another heatwave while our friends melt in the sweltering sun.
Tell them it’s only a heatwave when the final glaciers breakaway.
Tell them it’s only a heatwave, I’m sure they will soon believe.