The downward slope of summer modulates
the angle of our pleasures as it trains
reluctant eyes upon the lower plains,
where imminent nostalgia coolly waits.
Still coddled by a kind and lofty light,
we toast the sunset earlier each day,
like open-faced sunflowers that betray
a naïve over-ripeness in their height.
We’re past peak season for the kind of heat
that met with merciless humidity
in waves that drained our bodies and the land —
but this deliverance is bittersweet:
we clutch our sweating glasses of iced tea
as tightly as we’d grasp a mother’s hand.