Sun Sick

Tonight I am chasing the cool side of the pillow,

almost as elusive as breeze

despite the windows with their open mouths

panting in the heat.

Here, the backs of my knees slide slicked

between day fresh sheets

too quickly twisted into abandoned heaps,

lumps of coal still smoldering at the foot of this bed

all while the ceiling fan wheels in slow circles

the air curdling into soups so thick

it sticks in my lungs

like grief I want to scream into the cool side of a pillow

until my breath has turned cotton to swamp,

until I cannot tell the tears from my sweat


and the summer feels a little less like a coffin

pressing in on all sides.