The Air, Slick Like Butter

I spent my Saturday, in part, at the Community Poetry Festival.  Phase II was held in Riverside Park, and I loved that fountains helped to keep people cool.  Unfortunately, there have been more than twenty days this summer above 100 degrees.  Ever try to describe heat without using the words “hot” or “heat?”  The following is my effort, and I challenge other writers to describe our sultry summer.

“The Air, Slick Like Butter”

The cicadas call from elm to oak,
furious rattles of warning, my body
aches to lie down in the light, bend

low before I break under the sun’s
white-gold gaze, melt into the brown
sod dormant from drought. My skin

smells humid, flesh sliding loose on
bones.  The haze bends cars into a
shimmer of water, and I dream of ice

cubes and mint.  The air so slick like
butter across my skin, the grass baking,
the trickles of sweat sliding down the

back of my head.  Veronica’s velvet
voice blending into the fire of the day
and I am angry only because I hurt.

The Community Poetry festival is an excellent time for writers, musicians, and spoken word artists to get together and share in our love.  There are two more dates this summer, including August 27th at Price Woodard Park and September 10that Linwood Park.  Look to either Poetic Justice’s website for further details,

or find them on Facebook:


One thought on “The Air, Slick Like Butter

  1. tikiman1962 says:

    Great effort. Your poem sounds more delightful than the day actually was. Maybe more “dread” was needed to convey the misery of the situation. However, I liked:

    “brown/sod dormant from drought”
    “The haze bends cars into a/shimmer of water”
    “Veronica’s velvet/voice blending into the fire of the day”

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