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feel the fire scalding my back,

a sharp electric heat.

kneeling on the floor,

arms around myself,

listening to the boys

of summer,

swaying back and forth.

remembering the open-windowed

sounds of june days in the park –

kids playing, cars and radios

and rushing over pell-mell

when a tennis court comes free.

I’m cold but the room

smells of burning.

it’s february – the weather

is bitter, paying us back

for still hot sun-drenched days,

for too much free time,

for daring to think we’d never

have to settle down to this.