Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Summer Air

[Check out more at Poetry Thursday.]

I have known air like this, and I am glad this summer has not had much of it...



Summer Air


Summer air.
Not spring air.
Not warm-your-winter-chill air.
Not "ooh! I'll sit outside today" air.

No.

This is summer air.
Sauna air.
A blast furnace-powered sauna.

Summer air that
scorches the sidewalk and street
sending shimmering infrared waves
to smack me in the face.

Air with so much liquid that
I think the air itself
is sweating.

The air with weight,
heavy with all the humidity it hauls,
presses down on me
encumbering every step.

Wet air that catches and carries
the smells it meets,
but it doesn't move far.
This is air too substantial to be pushed
by anything so blithe
as a breeze.

Humid air that makes everything soggy,
too soaked to evaporate.
People shining and lethargic
open refrigerator doors
and pull out glass containers
instantly wrapped with dew.

I debate if the energy needed
to move the fan
is worth it
when the effort produces more heat
than it removes.

Is it a walk up the block?
or is it a swim?
With air too dense to breathe,
which way can I turn my head
to bring dry air
into my laboring lungs?

Sizzling, sultry air
forces me to strip
until I have removed
all the clothing
I can
without being arrested.

I drink cold water from a cup,
and hot water from the air.
The swelter
roasting
more water
from my flesh
than I can put in.

Air with more moisture content
than humans,
threatening to become sentient itself,
is a malignant presence
that keeps me awake at night
turning over and over,
trying to find a
cool
dry
spot on my pillow,
a place that my head,
drenched with sweat,
can lose enough fever
to bring sleep
and dreams
that are not filled
with steam.

15 comments:

Maria said...

Oh, god...

I live in Nebraska. In August, it is not uncommon for us to have 100 degrees with 77% humidity. As we like to say....the air you can wear...

sister AE said...

yup -
when I used to come home to the midwest from college, the first breath off the airplane was always a damp shock - like stepping into a sauna.

paisley said...

oh the memories i relived thru this... i moves to northern california from south florida,, and i sometimes forget what it feels like to be weighed upon by the very air you attempt to breath

Crafty Green Poet said...

it almost makes me gladwe've not had a summer this year... (Even when we do, its never that hot)

sister AE said...

Welcome, Paisley. My sister used to live in Northern California so I know what you mean.

Hi, Juliet. Guess there's a silver lining to the misery described, huh?

gautami tripathy said...

I know it too well. Delhi is hell in summers. The temperature reaches 47 degrees.

sister AE said...

Hi, Gautami. I still think in Fahrenheit and if my calculations are correct, that's about 116 degrees F. Ouch. I think I'm going for a cool drink now.

Kelly The Crafty Cat said...

Hello, Michele sent me.

Ok that is hotter than here!

sister AE said...

Hi, Kelly. Welcome.

odessa said...

oooh, that's hot! so glad i'm we have cool summers here in san francisco.

Madseason said...

Wow - great poem! I was just whining about our Florida heat a few moments ago (as I listen to the usual afternoon thunder roll in...)

Thanks for your comment at my site - especially the term "blinker turkeys" LOL! and your statement "The only part worse than not using the turn signal at all is when someone uses it to blink ONCE as if they are trying to save the bulb..." ROFLMAO!

sister AE said...

Hi, Odessa.

Thanks, Madseason, and you're welcome. I'll be back for more visits.

Constance said...

Never thought I'd say I'm ready for winter! Maybe we need 'cool' poems next week. :)

Nice job!

...deb said...

You've just made me grateful for the unseasonably cool and cloudy Pacific Northwest weather I've been experiencing. (We're all complaining up here while the rest of the US swelters and stwes.)

sister AE said...

Thanks, Constance. I'm certainly not ready to write another "hot" one yet.

Thanks, ..deb. Surely you'll get some bright weather yet this summer! I'll cross my fingers for you.