i swear, they camouflage their faces– some have crooked teeth–

they hide// behind the earth’s
soft smell of musk &sweat that builds
a cushion between my back and rucksack

as i bike towards my workplace
sun’s not yet up
but the humidity already wraps moist limbs around my chest/hips–

“what ya doing?” i confront them

“giving you a pause–”

they’re all messed up

knees skinned, crashed upper case
“is it the heat?” i ask

last night
my husband stole my blanket in his sleep
&i lay with the night’s hot/humid breath

against bare skin
while packs of dogs barked outside in the dark

behind the veil a bunch of words play
“catch me//if you can”
stretching weirdly into apostrophes, accent aigu’s–

i cross the bridge
just as the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint

“it’s going to be hot again” i say
but they have disappeared

as loudless//as they came



for dVerse… Dog Days of summer…


28 responses to “i swear, they camouflage their faces– some have crooked teeth–

  1. The imagery here is fabulous, I can feel the heat in all its layers, see the painting through the heat wave shimmer of your words…

  2. Beautiful write Claudia. I love when words play catch me, and when I see something that gives me pause, to think, appreciate or merely swelter in summer’s heat. The painting and the poem are a perfect match.

  3. Loudless – love that word.
    I will say there is something naturally lovely in the smell of sweat, of just living life beyond what our perfumes and deoderants will cover up. Its over 100 here today, but then again the pool is only a trip of the toes away. Ha.

    PS. I blame you for the black eye I got in turn for the attempted kiss. Ha.

  4. I can feel the heat and humidity in this poem, Claudia. I do love this line: “the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint.” Sounds like a very, very vivid sky — typical of those one sees during the ‘dog days.’ Hope that the bike ride to work cools you off a bit!

  5. The worst after a hot day is a hot and humid night and it is so y=true that then the noises such as dogs barking become very conspicuous. It seems to have been a fruitful summer for you as far as art is concerned.

  6. I do so like the images here and the layers of them. This poem reminds me of how I left a box (64) of crayons outside and how they melted and ran into each other – the colors melting and mingling, layering. Such a vivid poem. The last line just made me stop and blink very fast, then read again with much pleasure.

  7. Good for you to be biking though its very hot, yikes ~ I specially admire this part:

    i cross the bridge
    just as the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint

    Lovely painting as well ~

  8. Some tears of sweat, as your words run down my back between my prickly shoulder blades; Like Mary, I love the sun crayoning the sky, & “loudless” has become my next word to steal, & try to make my own. We got A/C a decade ago, & I swear we bless it daily during the dog days.

  9. I find it harder to think creatively in the heat…you don’t seem to have that problem 🙂 Just LOVE “as the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint”!

  10. So difficult to catch those words as they move like fading images before our eyes…never really holding up their part of the conversation for very long…a most enjoyable poem…oh and it’s hot and humid here too…I’m hiding out inside today. 🙂

  11. the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint…
    Yes, that image of everything melting, including our brains… that’s the reality of summer, especially one like this…

  12. Nice … I still remember those mornings, C … bicycling to school/ work … now I work nights … nothing but coolness, sometimes in -30C … Love, cat.

  13. Ooo, I love the sun crayoning the sky. I think your use of verbs sets you apart as one of the great poets of our day. Like… humid limbs wrapping around you. Wonderful!

    Tomorrow is supposed to be 37 Celcius here. I probably won’t be bicycling. 🙂