the valley heat

by Steven J. Serafiani

a couple of ice cubes clinked in a white mug,
I took a deep breath,
unscrewed that whiskey cap,
poured it to the brim,
that painting I bought for two,
was left breathing with fresh cheap cutlery wounds,
thank you,
I stepped over the puddles of water,
from that crumpled bottle I poured on you in the hallway,
the walls still dripping,
opened and shut our apartment door,
stood second floor,
eyes careened around the courtyard of our building,
the night thick with insufferable valley heat,
took a smoke from my pack and lit it,
took a swig,
took a puff,
took a swig,
took a puff,
pretty sure you were in our room,
crying the goddamn mascara off your lids,
I didn’t care,
I wanted out,
stared up into the cloudless valley sky,
closed my eyes,
the whooshing of the intermittent street traffic,
looked down at the pool,
it was littered with leaves,
the railing I leaned on a rusted green,
fucking bitch,
shirt began sticking to my skin,
goddamn valley heat,
harsh words rattling lobes,
finished my smoke and went back in,
you were sleeping in our bed,
I took the floor,

woke up to the sound of coffee dripping,
the sun streaming,
got up,
you were in the bathroom,
the walls had dried,
poured a cup,
black,
you entered the kitchen,
gave me a kiss on my coffee cup holding hunched shoulder,

and we do it again,
we do it again,
do it again,
again,
again.

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