Sullen rain simmers, pretends to slalom and surrenders,
recoils in the clouds of sodden discontent.
Arid thoughts smother the sapless stalks of life.
It is the month of August, the fat middle of
an unrelenting virus, spinning off the spores
of a shivering November,
it’s nowhere as dead as it is nowhere as living.
People mask fragile streaks of breath, leaden lungs
laced with streptococcus pneumoniae. Iced, strung.
Limbs calloused by blisters. Senses culled, stunned.
Streets barren like rooftops under a burning sun.
Breathless homes stuffed with straw, ready to
ignite. Quartered wings fulminate and fail to fly.
Aimless pages rasp in the gust, the discarded citizens
of a vanquished state, buzzards of a caged sky.
Such a cruel end, such a smothering death by lullaby;
Month of August, the sad middle of a brutal shanghai.