Escaping Summer

Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Summer is the sound
Of glass. My father 

Couldn’t hear it
Or perhaps he 

Heard it unceasingly,
This hum and friction
 
Of a moistened finger
Worrying a rim, on a
 
Product of fire and breath
At its most perilous
 
In the name of perfection
Of nature, of sand, of a
 
Temporary state made
Permanent for the brief
 
Enjoyment of humans.
This is how skin and glass
 
Together mimic the conditions
Of deafness; of senses failing
 
To deploy and collect
What is all around them,
 
Insects in the grass,
Bare feet on the pavement,
 
The battering kiss of sprinklers
On flesh; my father felt this noise
 
On the hottest days, and swallowed
It into his lungs, the most fragile
 
Of his instruments. Like a plague
With silent omens, it came, year
 
After year, the drowning in
Bed sheets and football jerseys.
 
Until he grew out of that phase
And instead watched his own
 
Children endure misdemeanor
wounds and accompanying
 
Vaccinations. Until his children
Betrayed him by refusing his
 
Version of events, the herding
Of bugs in jars, anise on tongues,
 
Another sense gone, if not taste
Then naming, conquering whatever
 
Grows between cracks, prospers
For the service of mouths,
 
And men. The last summer he
listened, I was a cricket, shifting
 
between the currents playing
on my legs. I was a spider
 
extending my reach beyond
silken boundaries. I was a hornet
 
whose silence is broken only
when attempting escape.

 
 
 

about the writer

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Jane Rosenberg LaForge was born in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. Her novel, The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War, has just been published by Amberjack Publications. Her second full-length collection of poems, Daphne and Her Discontents, is from Ravenna Press. She also is the author of a memoir, An Unsuitable Princess from Jaded Ibis Press; four chapbooks of poems and her first collection, With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women, from The Aldrich Press. When she is not homesick, she worries about her husband, daughter, and cat, and hopes she will write more books some day. Her web site is jane-rosenberg-laforge.com

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