Michael Salcman

Code Red

We got some air, if you can call it that,
The heat wave rolled in without a breeze, 
Even beneath the dogwood tree. 
Code Red without fire.
At least we escaped quarantine for an hour, 
Reaching for our backdoor a little lightheaded
And dizzy. I served myself some bitter ice tea,
Sat down at the computer for news and mail,
My wife climbed the stairs with her knitting kit,
A bag on her shoulder, toenails painted coral.
We two silent like exhausted birds hiding
In the leaves; no bird wings beat in their bath, 
Saw not one redbreast fish for seeds,
Their feeder hung beneath the blare of sunshine. 
We heard the heat buzzing in our ears. 
Yesterday made love before sunrise
And drowsed just after; sleep came early today
After briefly touching the world and its heat.