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Heat Wave

by Donald Brown


 A girl on TV is kissing at us

leaving wet red lip prints across the screen


His coffee’s refreshing clarity

lapses into musty aftertaste


Across a roomful of empty space,

she makes notes to herself stretching out a bare leg

He notes the colors strategically arranged:

the gold she claims as her own, the windowed sky

plum-colored, the tables beige


Wallowing in Bono Vox,

he won’t send her questionnaires

or flowers stamped with the name

of a famous manufacturer des plastiques aromatiques

She doesn’t ask for attention and there’s nothing else to give


Eros, you know, is fleet-footed and inquisitive at best,

at worst, an impostor with blunt hands


“I’m a geek and this is a geek-shirt”


A certain flower, this sweltering May, buds

with the scent of semen, but don’t mention that,

nor will fragrant bark, humid before the rain,

suggest they mate

with off-hand urgency,

turned on a spit to the right temperature


The book she reads relaxes its intent gaze

The street of a TV Western town drowns in deep shade

The talkers quibble in fluid French accents

Heat lightning eats the sky beyond the library


Her scanning glance reads him back to himself,

pen poised over an open notebook


“I used to be rich, you see,

but all I have now

is an answering machine”


Donald Brown is a regular contributor to the New Haven Review.  His review of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice is available in the most recent issue of Quarterly Conversation, and you can read more of his writing here.  His favorite lunch cart, for now, is the Thai Taste cart by Prospect and Sachem.

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  1. Contents « The Dirty Pond

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