Monday, July 24, 2017

MIRAGES

You've probably
noticed it by now—that
the best sensations

are never found
in the place where
they come from, that

the tantalizing late July sunlight
is your toughest antagonist
when you look directly at it.

You've likely felt it too,
how summer—the true season,
which you swear you've experienced,

with its ripe
tomato-red, immaculate
white of bleached,

enriched bread, and undersea
blue of doo-wop
music under poplar shade—

how it never really
comes upon you; it's always
just around that next leafy corner,

until—wait, now there it is,
back there, behind
the sepia-toned last.

And there's something
illusory too—something
of a magic trick, even to these

hazy backyard barbecues
and dizzy pool parties
with friends and neighbors

when you're disoriented,
heavy with sun
and charcoal smoke

and too hungry to notice
in the moment—how it's never
that hot dog itself

that you're smelling; it's
the fire, the supernatural
smell of ashy fat and charred metal,

and most of all, it's
those little onions—stubborn
ugly vegetables, now

translucent, tortured and sweating out
their acrid toughness—it's just onions
you're after, all along.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL?