Desert Sun

We lived close to the earth

there, amongst the dirt and

sand —

heated by the

constant presence

of a sun

whose rays remained

unfettered by clouds

and unblocked by anything

that grew.

They often say the sun “bakes”

the air,

everything it touches,

and this it did there —

felt something like

an oven on even

the mildest of days,

so that everything

boiled,

even our blood, caught

within

the casing of our skins,

making us ripe

for fighting —

desperate acts

came readily there

where the heat

scrambled us,

our brains.

Nothing was off-limits,

no one thing that a man

could do to another

was more than a

hair’s breadth

from reality —

with that heat

that rested like

hands around

the throat,

waiting

to tighten,

just biding time

until squeezing.

Only a tic,

a sudden gasp

away.

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