On Duval

Even at night

the heat comes down from the sky
up from the earth at the same time
to meet in the middle, chest height,
all parts of the body melting into
the center: the heart: beating thickly:
cicadas in the pecan trees, aloe vera,
lush palms and roses tangled in your hair
as you walk by, and by, and
by the bungalows, the trucks strung with
lit bulbs, round and warm,
by the broken glass shimmering in the gutter,
by the sidewalk tabletops, by the roses,
the palms, the roses strong enough to
follow you through the gate,
your heart: beating: submerged
into a pool surrounded by roses,
this middle place between two heats,
your skin like the surface of that still
pool at night: there is a layer that
holds for a moment against penetration
when you dip a hand into that wet
green, lit from beneath, looking for
relief.

 

 

 

 

 

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