I have read
that a woman who rubs
the midsummer’s dew
upon her face
grows more lovely
with the passing year.
So I go into my garden
this morning to test
once again the tale
the books have told
in the laboratory
of my own flesh.

But I have slept
an hour later
than my usual,
or at least my sought after,
and forgotten until
after breakfast,
so the plants are as dry
as bones, if indeed they
were any different before.

I rub my fingers across
the cool leaves
of the pink rose
and touch them to my cheek.
I walk the perimeter
of the yard, no dew
to be had anywhere,
and pause finally
at the pepper tree
to cluster is fanning leaves
against my face,
rubbing the green into
my skin.

and I am just getting
to a solstice celebration
for reasons best left
undiscussed, as reason
always should be.
Summer, the season
I dread all year,
I try not to feel hateful,
for days reminding myself
of fast growth, of long
productive days.
The heat I fear is not here.

But my summer rash
has returned to my left
shoulder, like a roosting
And the ants I scarcely
had time to miss
have taken over again.

Some people plan
their summer reading.
I never seem to.
Some people take trips,
go away.
I stay home or if not
go to another version
of it.

I eat more mangoes
than is perhaps
too much watermelon
throughout the day,
upsetting my stomach’s

I grow cross,
dense and dull witted.
Even though I mean
to sit in the shade and
read, the heat
makes me so forgetful
that I do not know
how to step out of it.

“Fire makes the entire universe
visible.” But it is
the most difficult element for me.
I am more comfortable
with earth,
and even more still
with air.

Pitta’s time of year,
appease him with leisure,
something beautiful to see,
something cool and dewy
upon the skin.