Friday, September 2, 2016

Hot, Hot Summer

by Linda Rodriguez

It's the first of September, but it still feels like August, and that's gone on so long that my eyes are permanently raw from sun and heat and truly excessive humidity. This photo is me at sixteen in my senior play, Li'l Abner, playing Moonbeam McSwine, a sultry woman whose way of dealing with the heat of summer was just to give in to it--and to every man who came along. So it seemed like a good choice for this post all about summer heat and how it makes us feel lazy and... decadent.

Here's a poem I wrote about summer heat and how it can turn good girls (and women) bad--at least in their minds and imaginations.


that I smile too widely,
grinning really, and laugh
too loud and often; that I walk
with spring and sensual sway;
that I stretch myself and twist
like a cat
baking in the backyard
brightness; that my brain is sun-bleached,
all rule and thought boiled away, leaving
only sensory steam;
that my feverish eyes see strange dancing
flames in afternoon shadows
along the sides of streets and Bedouin oases, fragrant
with dates and goats and acrid desert waters,
in every suburban garden we pass
while you argue and drive
and I stare, heavy-brained with heat
and too aware of my own body
and every other;
that I take a lover,
brazenly, crazily,
too sun-stupid to be careful,
in my dreams.

Published in Heart's Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)


  1. It remains hot in the Central CA foothills, but has cooled off a bit. The fire we had above us is out, and the one a couple of mountains over near Lake Isabella is finally contained. Cooler weather always helps fight fires. I'd like to say the fire season is over, but actually it's probably just the beginning. Loved the poem, Linda.

  2. Oh, Marilyn, my prayers stay with you and all of those living in the fire-devastated West. It's been a particularly bad summer for that. I'm glad you liked the poem. Stay safe!

  3. Beautiful and so very true. <3

  4. I love that photo of you, and what a great poem to end the summer with. I like the subtle sensuality of it. I'm happy to see summer ending because fall is my happy space--and because I'm so busy as well, that means I get more writing done. (Want something done? Give it to a busy person!)

  5. Fall is my season, too, Kimberly. And I can't wait to see it. Still huddling in air conditioning today here. But soon.. soon.