Prairie Nights on City Streets

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Burn Poetry
Tags: ,

In Nebraska, summer is spread heavy,
smeared on
with the dull heavy blade of July at 1:47 in the afternoon.
Ninety six degrees mortared onto your skin
with freshly lit prairie sun.

As the sky bleeds out to dusk,
burns down from napalm-hot blaze
to furnace blast breeze,
and sky turns to embers
the pumping bellows seem to stall.

Whispered mercy blows in from the west.

The rustling chorus of scorched leaves
begins the orchestral prelude,
loosening up from midday’s hibernation.

The white-knuckled afternoon loosens its grip,
gingerly flexing from fist to palm.

The plains pause for breath.

The city inhales.
Sizzling pavement turns boil to simmer
and rippling waves of steam kicked up by the afternoon’s wake
ease.

The day slips out like the tide from shore.

The echo of cicadas begin the opening notes of their
hours long crescendo
building with dusk’s fading.

Midwest nights cling thick;
heavy and damp,
a deep-blue sweatshirt pulled too soon from the dryer.
They blur lights in a haze of leftover heat
turning liquor store signs to puddles of hovering red neon,
stirring foreign ingredients into evening’s bowl.

The streets shimmer;
paved black rivers,
obsidian arterys flowing underneath
reds, yellows, and greens.

Each lungful of night air is lush;
full of intent.

I breathe in the prairie night.
I am alive.

FIN

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Comments
  1. Sue Tolles says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, I read it 3 times. Wow, this should be published.

  2. madhat says:

    Midwest nights cling thick;
    heavy and damp,
    a deep-blue sweatshirt pulled too soon from the dryer.

    I absolutely love the image of this. I could actually FEEL it.

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