The final snail moments of August Dogdays,
this misbenamed lord’s year. No bloody nails
can stem the 40 day heat microwaving the land.
I stand underneath the wood shed and listen
to the rain beat down like my childhood dreams,
while the fire blazes and fights the torrid sky.
Those dying flames fading in the dark are like
wasted years, a stream of words which can
never be reclaimed.
Words are all we have. Words are what we are.
Words are what strip us away, flay the skin to
tender marrow, or construct all the lies that we believe.
They are as necessary as the end of days, summer’s
leafed fictions laughing at flame’s extinguishment.
Hiss of steam and ragged bark, my truths, my lies.
Ralph Monday has had over 200 poems published in literary journals and online literary sites. A chapbook, All American Girls and Other Poems was recently published, and a book Lost Houses and American Renditions is forthcoming from Hen House Press.