I’m awake, sheet kicked off the bed,
trying to feel the breeze that pushes weakly
at the half-closed blind. Heat pummels
me into a puddle, making my damp skin itch.
Darkness, grainy as a 1930s film,
pushes against me, presses me into the mattress
with its unwanted caress.
The blind rattles against the window,
trembling in the moon’s glare.
An owl calls, long and low – is answered
by a distant hoot. I hear the air’s fingers
sliding through the apple tree outside my room,
a shy sussuration, too nervous to slip inside
and cool my heatplate skin.
My brain is alight with thoughts of him.
His calloused palms against my cheek,
the almond and orange of his shampoo
as his hair drifts soft across my face.
It was a summer love, heady as a peach.
It ripened in the sun, gave up its flesh
in one juicy burst, left
only the memory of sweetness. Now,
July’s hot breath stirring the blinds,
smelling of clematis and bindweed, conjuring
the leathery shine of ivy on the fence, wisteria
climbing the wall to gather round the glass, moths
spreading their dusty wings against the moonlight,
he steps into my head, unasked.
He is a coal that never fully cooled,
a hot mistral that left me dazed, adrift
in the endless heat of summer midnights.
He is the smiling demon in my veins,
lust like a fire that blazes and is ash,
that dies when the seasons turn,
but left behind its embers.
© Louise Wilford