My Swollen Liver

A cool night amidst

the eye of a sweltering storm;

an ephemeral refuge from

the tormenting humidity

of late-summer.

August scorches the earth like

the rot-gut liquor swelling our livers,

like the molasses tar of

smoldering cigarettes decaying

our lungs.

Summertime: the dog days of madness,

of vice and pleasure,

of crowds of drunken women;

nights of booze and smoke

beneath the neon glow,

betwixt the billowing fog and

red and blue strobe lights

bouncing across dance floors.


an eclipse of heat and misery

now waning before us

in the cloudless night.


beneath the stars,

all faded and dim

in the black sky;

their shadowy specks drowning

in the sea of city lights,

as we begin to slow,

as we begin to think,

as we begin to contemplate

our lives.

Under the stars,

we reflect.

The stars, suffocating beneath

the cloak, the artificial glow

of a tourist town,


like our dreams.

Our dreams….

once bright and vibrant,

radiating as the gleaming sun,

now dying and hushed

as the pale glimmer of the moon;

drab and desolate,

only half-sparkle

from the corner of our eyes.

At summer’s close,

their dull flash again

catches our gaze,

reminding us

they are still there,


marking time for

the cloak to lift

so they may again

burst in the night

like a phoenix

rising from the ashes…

…before summertime again

swallows us in her madness.

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