Night has yet to break its fever

by Michael Parker

The midsummer night has yet to break its fever. 
Leaves of trees hang, and the stems and blossoms of fragile plants droop like an onset of death by drought. 
Even the neighborhood houses show their sunburnt faces and symptoms of heat stroke in the glow of their night lights. 
But it is the clouds in the moon-heavy dome that are empty faces and bodies, reaching, stretching to make connections. If we have learned anything from the clouds, it is that life is short, the horizon is unknown, and no one wants to remain an island. 
Even I'm not immune from this. 
In the pitch of the house, the clinging shadows pick up on my thick skin of sweat, dark as seal coats, and they move in close, as if attracted, as if they haven't loved in a lifetime.