July night with crickets

July night with crickets

July night with crickets

Heat is supposed to rise, but in the gnawed, unslept hours
of horse latitude stillness, I feel it pressing down instead
like a steam iron, flattening the dark crumpled collar
of the night, squeezing out the comfortable creases,
making tiny bubbles simmer deliriously in the blood.

In the hall of leaves beyond the mosquito screen,
a hundred thousand invisible percussionists
rehearse their moment of moonstruck definition,
announcing themselves in ascending rattles of friction,
a clamour of legs and feet, answering the imprinted call.

We lie mutely, speckled with sweat, between the
top sheet of an unfamiliar bed and a drunken ceiling fan,
its blades flicking their way through uneven circles.
Before they even arrive, I can feel your fingertips
reaching out to bridge the narrow space separating us.

first published in Gyroscope Review, issue 16-3, 2016

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