The Hot Season

There are heaps of watermelons piled by the roadside. When I get out of the car, my sunglasses fog up instantly. I can smell my own sweat. What does it all mean? Yes, the dreaded hot season has returned.

A couple of years ago I wrote a poem for the hot season, in a very rhythmic form called a Sapphic stanza. I posted it here last year, but here it is again: it has returned with the sun. I remembered it last week, and I've been humming the rhythm of it, with bits of the words thrown in here and there, ever since.

It's a little early for it: mangoes come after watermelons, and our mango trees are just flowering (though my neighbour has green fruit on his trees already). But the season has begun.

Hot Season

Sidewalk vendors raise heaps of green-rimmed melons
bright papayas, oranges made of sunlight.
Bursts of bougainvillea glow magenta
under the Fire Star.

Pick a mango when it is half-green, half-ripe,
wrap in straw strands carefully, nest-like, hatch it.
It’s the egg that brings forth another year – it’s
hot season’s augur.

Air like water hinders each heavy footstep,
holds the scents of car exhaust, incense, jasmine,
brings us news of mating crows’ squabbling caucus.
Summer’s upon us.

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