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Heatwave, a poem by Zoe Boyer


Fever breaks, sun slipping behind the peak, 

earth’s brow sweating off a last bead of light. 

Cool air is a spell compelling me from the 

bed’s burning sheets to the balcony door where

the silhouettes of cafe chairs sit angled in 

quiet communion and the dome of stars is 

planetarium-bright; I can almost hear a voiceover

intoning, to the naked eye, Venus appears…

The neighbors have made a nightclub of 

their garage, the yawning door letting loose their 

raucous whoops, a drunken belt of Piano Man

This is all we can ask of a heatwave, housebound 

until moonrise, then these few hours respite folded 

between the tight seam of blaze and black, the moon 

a spotlight on the driveway’s stage as neighbors 

emerge from the wings, mountains hulking 

darkly now the houselights have dimmed, and

from the cheap seats, all the pine trees are waving. 

Zoe Boyer was raised in Evanston, Illinois on the shore of Lake Michigan, and completed her MA in creative writing among the ponderosa pines in Prescott, Arizona. Her work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Poetry South, Kelp Journal, Plainsongs, RockPaperPoem, About Place, West Trade Review, and Little Patuxent Review, and has been nominated for Best of the Net.