It’s a hot and humid afternoon
the trees buzz with invisible insects
and sprinklers with their fat silver fans
sway slowly back and forth over parched lawns.

The last time I saw you
I knew it wouldn’t be long.
Your words drifted in the room,
fell from your lips
light as feathers.
Your aqua eyes splashed to the surface
between frequent nods.

As a kid, I spent Augusts with you;
bats fluttering in drunken loops
around the street lamp
outside the bedroom window

paddling to the center
of Demons Pond
while you and Mary played cards
on her cottage porch.

Afternoons like those
were like rooms with no ceilings.
Never again would I feel so secure.

You have always been there
a reason why I can still recognize my life
even when it’s spinning in this maelstrom
this summer of August afternoons
a pastiche, a deep cold well
that longs.

Tim Louis Macaluso is an openly gay poet and journalist living in Rochester, NY. His work has appeared in numerous journals and publications. He was also a staff writer for CITY Newspaper for nearly 15 years where he covered education, health care, and local politics.