Summer in Philadelphia is the only season worth writing about

Processed with VSCO with nc presetA shimmering of cicadas whir in the trees
As I sweat through my business casual
Pumping at the gears of a borrowed bicycle
Too nervous to get my own repaired
Too late to take the bus
Too cheap to pay for parking
The season salts my skin
Ruptures my pores
Marks my folds, creases

In winter I am swallowed by my coat
Fall, spring, both colorless doughs
Rising in green glass
Sugar hungry transitional months,
The yeast churning out fire, ice
Garbage to bake under blaring sun
A cacophony of insects nestled in leaves
Humming along to the screeching trolleys
I speed past on my way to work
The mechanisms between my legs
Crying out for oil and air

I’d be lying if I said it was pleasant
Unaccustomed to wet oxygen
To the damp linen of my shirt-collar, I am
More familiar with wildfire, dry brush,
Than a borrowed city
Forever on the verge of vanishing

Somehow, the same city I lived in
Not six months ago, a flurry of ice
And silence, now transformed
Into shouting streets,
Kids in plastic pools hollering about
Knees skinned on cracked cement
Dogs gleefully eating hot trash off
The glimmering black pavement:
A garden for dirt bikes, a mirage,
A glimmer of warm grease.

Julian Shendelman is based in Philadelphia and has two bad dogs. His chapbook, “Dead Dad Club,” was released by Nomadic Press in 2017. He’s working on a novel about people working in a haunted house. You can read more of his work here:

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