Can’t beat the heat

Mom says it’s unbearable,
AC humming its approval,
fan churning in agreement,
and her ice water melts
faster than her patience.

I say it’s not even summer,
that my skin is molting
over the pale pink of winter,
that the sheets at night
are heavy on the new flesh.

She wants to move north,
or at least scratch away
my summer skin like scabs
thick and dry in the oven,
the scars a verification
of the mercury’s weight.

I ask how far fish must go
before the cycling seasons
lose all voice and glory,
before rain stops singing,
before clouds quit painting
the new skin I’ve grown.

She shakes her sweaty head,
says it’s too hot to play,
and glares balefully away.



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