Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

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Originally posted to blockquote.org on in Chicago, Illinois

Heat. Heat and air so thick the windows won’t let in a cross breeze because there is no breeze. Thick hot air. At ten p.m. the moon wears a wide hazy halo. The neighborhood is winter quiet nodding off on a summer night. Air conditioners rattle. Overhead an airplane shrieks. Beside a garage an ancient couple jitters on their canes. A young mother jaywalks in the orange light. Two dark shapes pass by together under trees. My mind shifts and spins. I finger my keys. I give thought to driving, anywhere, wherever, wherever. I wonder about keying cars, the sound of it, the hand-feel. For a moment meaning stops meaning, words stop, stopping stops stopping, all things hanging and stagnant. Not a cat, not a rat, no shuffling, no sound. Then a step, another. One key, turn, then the other, turn. Stair light off, in, the fans churn. Toothbrush, water glass, two cubes, a third cube. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday on and on like Monday, the forecasted, the promised, threatened same. They say once long ago residents dragged their pillows to the parks to escape the night heat, as though it wouldn’t meet them there.