The Heat

Timothy Liu

Underneath the cotton blanket
She sweats in sultry air dreaming,
How sweet Napa Valley grapes would taste 
This time of year when heavy June clouds 
Seal the edges of sky like a thick crust
Of baked apple pie steaming on the sill.

Flies collide against the frayed screen 
Bathing in the flow of cool air streaming Through the vent 
of her napping kitchen 
Where she reads a Steinbeck novel 
Absorbed in artificial breeze
Half aware upon a pair of wings.

The soft swan flapping begins to buzz 
Like a miniature hummingbird 
Probing into her honey hair
And dodging her clumsy hand
Which lazily sways like an empty swing
Peeling and baking in the heat.