Paulo César León Palacios CC
Portrait of the Poet on a Hot Day
She sits at her old desk
in her new home office, a window on either side
of her cloud-filled head, each sill lined
with glowing stones, and it is entirely
too hot. She may stand slowly and turn on
the ineffectual fan sitting
squat on the floor. She fears she may
be pregnant, or else it’s just the heat tumbling
her insides like river rocks.
She’s building a secret world
in the hollow-dark of her body.
Her stocky legs are banged up
from days of lifting things
she was not designed to lift.
Her stomach yawns empty, and the
fridge joins in solidarity.
Through the window to her right
and across the street, sweet-mouthed children
pop fistfuls of firecrackers and the silver-
coated gravel breaks free.
When the sun dips golden behind
the dome of a nearby church,
she wears her cat slippers out
for a smoke. She wraps herself in the cool eddies
and gusts cradling the deck
and eyes the lightening gathering
in the clouds’ dark underskirts.
She hears city sounds
rumble like far-off thunder,
hears car tires crunch on pebbles, reminding her
so much of rain.
Ashley Wagner is a queer writer, reader, and roller-skater living in Baltimore. She is the poetry editor for Ligeia Magazine, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whale Road Review, FOLIO, Door is a Jar, and others.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.