“Heat” — Denis Johnson

Literature, Poetry, Writers

“Heat” by Denis Johnson—

Here in the electric dusk your naked lover

tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.

It’s beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,

Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,

streaming with hatred in the heat

as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin

to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,

and such a last light—full of spheres and zones.

August,

you’re just an erotic hallucination,

just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,

are you serious?—this large oven impersonating night,

this exhaustion mutilated to resemble passion,

the bogus moon of tenderness and magic

you hold out to each prisoner like a cup of light?

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