creating me [using words]


It is August here
waiting on the heat to pass,
waiting, waiting, waiting
me and you waiting
for news, for open doors,
for closed ones,
for words to be said to us
words like a fall drizzle
on parched brown earth.

It is August here
in our Texas souls—
no break in sight
no shade-clouds forming
just the faint memory
of passing seasons
to hold our hope.

Is August where memories
come to die?
Of heat stroke, the cooler thoughts
faint, I try to revive them
with a dunk in the pool.
Splash water on their stoned faces
but even water isn’t cool in August.
Despair settles in alongside
thick air. How come
grass dies and mosquitoes live on?
This must be hell—
to wait so long that flowers wilt
and gnats abound.
It will never rain again! And oh,
what’s the use of a sprinkler—
its sprinkles are devoured like
crumbs before a ravenous beast.

It is August here
and why did February get
only 28 days when
it could have been August?
Even the calendar joined
the conspiracy
against us.

It is August here
inside my sun-torched heart
I lather on aloe nightly
and morningly and hourly
and still I peel,
flakes fall off, I cringe
at the sight of me,
caked in crusted skin,
having baked so long
in blaring pain—
my body protests!
My burnt heart so tender
to the touch she gingerly
peels off her clothes
and hides in sheets
she pretends are cool.

It is August here!
And we are waiting still,
you and I, to heal,
to be heard,
to feel a breeze upon our face,
to taste a drop
of sky-sent moisture,
to leave the lonely, lagging
listless longing, to fall
like orange leaves
from an autumn tree together,
tumbled, to make enticing
piles where dreams leap in
to play.

It is August here
inside of us and without.
Eat a watermelon.
Watch a movie, in the dark,
with the air conditioning on.
Drink a cold drink.
Drink two.
Paint a picture,
or look at one.
Say the words
that are in your soul
and ask one person,
“Please listen.”
Write a love letter,
then mail it to yourself.
This way,
August cannot kill you.


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2 thoughts on “August

  1. Walter Brueggemann would be proud of this psalm, cast as it is upon the lamenting end of the psalmic spectrum. Lots to treasure here, as the listless dogs commiserate:

    “in our Texas souls”

    “my sun-torched soul”

    And my favorite:

    “to leave the lonely, lagging
    listless longing, to fall
    like orange leaves”

    How wonderful that it rained on the day you posted this yearning prayer.

  2. I know! I wrote this is in the morning (sweating on my back porch) and was hearing thunder by late afternoon and I couldn’t believe it. :)

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]

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