Intense heat makes me listless. I avoid the light. I stay indoors, or cross to the shade. But when the heat breaks, I find myself mesmerized by what it leaves behind, the traces of its touch. Or should I say, its torch? That blast of heat we got hurried on some crops--or it obliterated them.

The dried grasses. The pungent melon. The bursting day lily. The ripe tomatoes. And the thistle, tough, beautiful, regal, regardless.

The light still feels hot when it falls across the spiny stems of grass, but that bleached blond look is somehow cool on the eye--

--while the cool violet feels hot, intense, as if it might scorch the finger.

I find myself spending long moments simply gazing at hot colors, feeling the hunger they draw out--
thinking of farmers weeping for their corn, thinking of the silky tassels shorn by heat, thinking of the millions of aborted kernels--

--until finally what absorbs my attention is the light. How wet and how dry the light looks, how hot it can feel, regardless of the temperature, how rich and sun-yolky. How it is felt and remembered.

In spite of giving myself the weekend off--it is Saturday, today I won't think about the planet--I find myself wondering how something so necessary, so pleasing, so reassuring and hopeful as light--Let there by light!--could turn on us so quickly, turn us outside in, inside out. Day after day the light brought with it shimmering waves of heat--please, let there not be light, not that hot, unrelenting light. During those scorching days, all I wanted to do was hide from the light. That is no way for us to live.


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