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The night ended in smoke. Sleepwalking fumes rolled over the park, perambulated in groggy circles, then got stuck in the tree branches where they hung as thick as melting duck fat. Around eleven in the morning the sky began to baste itself; you could smell it simmering on the edge of a backburning brink as it grilled a too torpid air. It was sweet in the mouth at first then it fire-licked wet ears and slippery toes. Skeletal strings unwound. Mind-sweat began to pour, drowning-out hope of any ease, thoughts flopped to the earth stewing amid overheated bubbles, Microbes leached through oily eyebrows. Ohio just can’t get its weather right; some nights merely pre-heat the day, daylight pants through aphid snouts and brown stems, or bulges lungs with its ballooning fevers. if the next passer-by gleefully remarks: ‘what a lovely day’ they will be cursed politely with a gorgon stare, then a thin, and crispy leer.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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