August Storms

Jenny Wong


 

This is the month where I learn about burnout

and the sun becomes a live match

centimeters from the skin.

While shingles singe on rooftops

the tarmac melts down along the edges

and a shaken soda 

sits on the counter, bottled neck

ready to burst.  

 

(He tells me he is going out and doesn’t know 

when he’ll be back.  Despite this heat,

ice has a particular burn.)

 

Lawns have begun to disintegrate

into brittle lessons about primary colors.  

Observe what happens to green 

when there is no longer blue.  Feel the prick 

of parched dry yellow.

 

When scientists announce 

that rainwater is no longer safe,

air conditioners gasp through sweating metal gills; 

highways screech with friction and brakes.

The clouds continue to grumble 

and darken, heavy

with unpronounceable toxins

and undrinkable rain.

Jenny Wong is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst. Her favorite places to wander are Tokyo alleys, Singapore hawker centers, and Parisian cemeteries. She resides in Canada near the Rocky Mountains and tweets @jenwithwords.