by Paul Martínez Pompa
As July overwhelms the city
like a drunk lover & the shade
offers nothing but an illusion
of cool, a cluster of sun-whipped
men leans against brick that looks
more chewed up steak than wall.
They want work & wait here
in the hot for an offer. One man
wipes sweat from above
his lip while another sits still
as death. An oil-pissing truck
staggers by & stops-waves
of heat rise from the hood
as a faded-green sleeve hangs
out the window & summons
three men standing to the side.
After they leap onto the bed
like Olympic athletes, the truck
farts & pulls away to its next job.
A man left behind tilts his head up
as if ready for the sky to burst
& soil everything with water.
Last updated February 24, 2023