20 tagged with #summer

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my parents asked me these questions when i was a kid, to see how i would work my head around them: how do you think boats can float? boats are so heavy, and sometimes made of metal.

but there's a part of my self that feels just right when i can feel through my feet that the bottom of the boat skims happily across the surface of the water, that i can hear the sound of waves slipping against the sides to tell me that we're moving well. i like the resistance when i pull an oar, or a hand, or a paddle, and slowly, the boat moves against it.

we borrowed a boat to learn the feeling of oars, scraping metal pegs against wet metal inserts on the gunwale, scaring more fish and birds away than the quiet electrical motors the other boats used. you can feel the tiniest current, the wind pressing against the flat sides. across the water, a dad rowed the boat backwards, facing the straight stern, pushing the oars, so he could see where he was going. no one corrected his form.

i know the sound of the splash when a fish leaves the water to snatch an insect out of the air, the paloosh when it falls back in. a pileated woodpecker crosses overhead, its neck tucked in like a heron, wings laboring hard to bring it across such a flat, open flight. vultures circle. the wind keeps the biting insects off us, and small spiders huddle against corrugated aluminum benches.

27 June 2018 23:27

rain, three acts

act one

i roll my eyes up at the sky, whispering, just relax. relax, clouds. they hang heavy overhead, tight with water, grumbling as they roll past. i have a headache, sympathy pressure from the leading edge of the storm front pushing against the house.

release your burden, clouds. you have carried this water so far.

act two

i slipped through a break in the clouds, hovering under an awning while the storm releases its third wind. water pools past people's ankles as they scatter across the street.

"it looks like it's brightening up," a woman tells her blind companion. "it's brightning up for sure. this will pass soon."

act three

flash flood alerts explode across everyone's phones, even the one hooked up to the speakers that was playing music. we can all see it; the warehouse windows overlook the river, the skyline, the hills. a blot of grey pulls over us.

i have to bike home in this, i tell my friends. the water reaches my pedals on the downstrokes; it runs off hillsides and makes waterfalls that spill over the sidewalk. i fly through the curtain, eyes and mouth closed, hoping it hasn't washed broken glass my way. but it all smells like sewage, a day of rain filling up the drains and backwashing blackwater along the street.

it's fine, i tell myself. my tetanus shot hasn't expired yet. i'll keep riding and let the fresh rain wash away the dirt.

the skies clear before i get home.

21 June 2018 00:21

i take it back

i take back the things i've said about previous days that were hot.

i take them back in anticipation of future hot days.

where my forearms rest on the counter, they stick; i shift my skin, and feel the hot patch left behind.

i sweat more than my water glass.

in despair, i stare at the thermometer; in the time since i got home, the temperature in this room has only risen, as the heat wafting from my exothermic body fills the space.

this seems unfair.

only hotter days will come.

17 June 2018 23:53


i stepped outside and could feel the sun rubbing against my arms, like the air was barbed and pricking my skin. heat rose from the ground, tickling under my chin. i wanted to jog to the gym, but the thought of exerting myself under this sun wilted all motivation.

instead, i went to the yard and stuck my fingers under the hay, feeling for the cold dampness that kept my potato plants healthy. this is a rough place to grow potatoes, sometimes. some of them haven't broken the surface yet, and i can't bear to cover them with grass cuttings until i can see them. but my eyes swim in the heat, and it's only mid-june, and i don't know what they want.

i covered them. come back to me soon, potatoes.

14 June 2018 22:22

wet season

i left a plastic cup next to the green onions; over 24 hours, it almost overflowed with rain. the shoots stretch fanatically towards the sky, their cells turgid with fluid as they race to outgrow their cousins. the ones that fall, i pinch off in a quick twist so i can dice it and freeze it before it rots in the dirt. i want to have green onions late into the winter seasons when nothing grows. i will not let any of these go to seed, or become snail food.

all the potatoes i buried have rotted, and i threw them back into the compost in disappointment. ironically, the potatoes my housemate threw into the compost months ago have sprouted, so i extracted those and replaced my failed sprouts.

i never understand what plants want. sometimes, i squat in the grass, staring at them as if they will mutter their desires to me if only i paid enough attention to them. when i was a child, i'd see my father doing the same, while my mother rolled her eyes at him. at least i understand that.

10 June 2018 17:24

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