Mercury (poem)


Mercury rises high into the hundreds:
“Gonna be a real scorcher this weekend,”
says the weatherman, his tie reflecting
the temperature outside- red and white stripes
sizzle on the pavement like pancakes cooked
for Sunday church, prayers that heaven forbid
the Devil isn’t rising up for vengeance in July
and is instead cooling off with sweetened ice tea.

Heat beats like the ocean, waves of ultraviolet
spill down my shoulders through my veins,
biting against raw skin. Tank tops and cutoffs
aren’t enough to avoid sweating beneath your arms,
your bra, the hairline under your scalp. Even poppers
and Sex on the Beach can’t quench thirst
for something more than just this:

“Just this,” you had said, blanketed by stars
in the room that night, when our prospects
were looking dimmer with each summer
spent while jobs were drying up like the Pacific blue:
oh the weary blues, curves and shapes and all.

— The Finicky Cynic

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