summer in september

Everyone is calling it OVER, but you press severed denim fabric against your mosquito-bitten legs to remind your exposed knees that summertime still exists in september. You take the long way to the subway, zig-zagging your toes against dirty city pavement just to breathe in the sweet, warm air just a little longer. The days are not quite as long, but you still dip your lips over watermelon, juice dribbling down chin, against chest. You wait for these final weeks because all the spots where the crowds gathered, are now sparse.

Everyone seems to forget about summertime in september, but you fall in love with the scent of autumn on your mate’s skin, crisp spicy drips of seasonal sinta apples. The orchestra of ice cream trucks still parade down your busy streets. See, you can still buy those bomb pops and artificially flavored treats shaped as your favorite childhood cartoon characters. The waves still curl over beaches; the shells weave in and out of sand, anticipating the pluck of curious fingers; the moon still rocks its summertime glow; the farmers markets make mouths water, still, from the array of roots seductively swaying; shoulders are still bare and burnt skin from overeager sun still stripes various parts of bodies. There is still time.

heat gathers steam off body

Asleep, I dream of babies, bodies that birth books, equations written into sky that predict deaths and a chimney burning off layers of inhabitants’ skin.

When the summer arrives, the last layer of made-in-China-synthetic clothing is removed and sheets gather an abundance of sweat. My windows are wide open like my lungs or my thighs and I struggle to detect any sort of breeze coming in.

How does rise in temperature still remain a surprise? I have lived in this body for over three-decades and yet I feel unprepared for this.

Hair gather above my head like a screamed poem and my neck is free. Beneath my breasts, enough perspiration can be found to lubricate a cookie sheet. I am aware of my weight, my depth, the space above my upper lip that houses beads of heated moisture.

In one week, I temporarily move away from this city where buildings scrape sky and graffiti interrupts buildings toward a more mountainous one. The heat is different there. Not as sticky, but perhaps a bit brighter.

Seasons are perfect transitions as life moves forward. In search of signs reflected off leaves on tree outside my window, I think of summer as the foreword to my next chapter. Limbs are slightly more exposed now.

Days are far more open.
Wallet echoes.
Passport flirts with my indecision to stay here.

Heat gathers steam off my body
leaves an imprint
of fragmented,
impulsively patched together
and full of question-marked
map.