lust, observed

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in my hometown
the laundromat

doors are open at 3 in the afternoon
to catch whispers

of a triple-digit Ju-ly breeze.
the machines whir,

and there is country coming
through the overhead.

small talk is all in Spanish: que
calorcito, eh? black-

laced sweet nothings
of a frazzled mamá drip

from the handrail of one of those
little carts. the floor

is dirty, and the air
smells of bleach.

the coke machine doesn’t work,
but the dryers

are wonderfully efficient and she
feels more like mamacita

than she has in months, con-
siders bringing one

of those country songs
to life, stripping

down to her calzoncitos while
watching machines spin

sweat & loneliness from her thin bed-
room sheets.

an orange evening

we take hold of twilight’s tail and
run with it, burning up
boredom and hydrocarbons as
we flee being beaten down
by the heaviness of the summer
air which sits
over the city like smoke
over a volcano and seems just
as ready to erupt.

three hours after midnight

she woke up seeing sirens,
her spirit cramped and moist and
crawling like ants
flat across a sticky weathered floor, the
heat sickness of a summer night’s
shivery poison leaving sweat tracks
on citrus-scented skin:  blood
oranges and melted amber in
a single, wax-draped dream.