“How Hot It Is” by Sarah Venable

New York chokes in a molten haze,
all colors muffled.

Skyscrapers tire of aspiring
and choose to do the hula.
Seated on the pavement,
lethargic bums in greasy rags
begin to sizzle.
Clock hands droop at 6:30,
And stay there.
You couldn’t spit if you wanted to.
No bus comes.
The limo at the light
turns to taffy and
stretches half a block.
Look inside:
the driver wears a loincloth!
Limp tourists drape themselves
like laundry on a fence,
dripping cameras and wristwatches.
Balls refuse to bounce.
Dogs stick to the sidewalk.
Fire hydrants issue steam.
Hasidic Jews remove their hats
and step into fountains.
Prostitutes jam the bus station,
Buying tickets to Alaska.

Sarah Venable teaches creative writing in Barbados. She’s been published in Poui; the anthology, The Truth About Oranges; Arts, Etc., on Anansesem.com, and soon on St. Somewhere.


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