I’ve seen birds die this way: half in the desert’s mouth, half out; stagnant air so hot every gasp requires a respirator pumping their beaks
A bum on the train rocks: his eyes closed, shoes off gasping with that same desperation while fans malfunction overheating obligations to save him.
Smelling sweat is the closest he’ll get to a human today.
Sir, you’re shaking. Do you need a drink? A coat? A dream? As if being born weren’t traumatic enough, then we live. From a park bench, a stranger drops an abandoned sweater (I say, wait there’s a man) in the dumpster. Humanity, Summer bursts, is a self-inflicted wound, let me teach you about burning until there’s nothing left. So I open my chest to her sun, show scars resurfaced like graffiti-covered bridges linking bad parts of town; a heart gentrified, then burnt down. I know the paint doesn’t match, I know you see it. But cool your shit, we’re all arsonist.

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