August Angst


August brings splendid abundance,
if by that, you mean raging heat
and an endless month of it…

not the popcorn warmth
of a pine wood hearth,
when frost is ferning the windows;

nor the bathing-suit sun blushing
the skin of shoulders and legs
undressed at the lake in spring;

not the charcoal glow of a family cookout,
flags flying as hot dogs sizzle on the grill
while men sweat and swear about hell;

not the hormone flush of midlife
or the red-faced ravage of anger,
not the fever of infection nor a swell of pride;

not even the recent rush of startled recognition
when the evil you thought was over
suddenly reignites to find you.

Now August is more: a melting planet,
hot concrete on immigrant baby feet,
scorching tweets, a wildfire’s soaring flames,

the burn that makes it hard to breathe,
as oppressive news holds us hostage
until even devoted snowbirds confess

that given the choice of this blazing August heat
or a branch-breaking freeze, they are already dreaming
of building a warm fire in the dead of winter.

NewsLinks: VOX, CNN, KTAR, FOX, New York Times

Audiolinks: SoundCloud