by Christopher Raley
Judgement is one hundred degrees and over,
a pressure on bare head and shirted back.
Eyelids squint in glare off concrete
and yellow grass, fixed white eye
burning reflected from metal and glass.
Judgement is the door and judgement the oven’s blast
on skin and hands lifting for protection.
The burning is repentance in revulsion
but feet move to claim distance.
Judgement is one hundred degrees and over
but grace is August the fourth
just before midnight. Little punctuations of sound
bring the weary from bed.
Dark hallway, dark living room silent
in air conditioning’s absent groan.
You listen in solitary absolution
for window tapping to tell what is known.
A studied view of street light:
rain streaks yellow canvass,
makes music on fading leaves
and dances into parched squares of lawn.