And the Pretty Women warned 44

Cats on backs with saluting bellies
under the thrum of the cooler
Tiny bugs gather against the kitchen window,
window shopping.

A hallway fan distributing cool
Down the hallway
to westerly-facing bedroom
(or at least trying too)

Backup plan: clumsily dragged
the night before
to the vacant lounge room floor;
the spare mattress.

Mid-afternoon: a ferocious sky
Somewhere, not far-
Buzzing voltage cicadas: shi-shi-shi-shi

It happens before my eyes-
Browning lawn, curling leaves
while the roses sing, happily-
“Come at Me!”

Above: towering pine trees erupt
Screeching cockies- sounding outraged
Projectile missiles drop from every branch
and explode on impact.

The garden hose, this morning
bird bath freshly filled
for family enjoyment, the
Indian Myna and Maggies
in alternating shifts.

The roads quiet, melting bitumen
A neighbour’s car shimmers in the street
Deserted, a ready-oven:
Metal roof pops in the heat.

Back deck, tap dancing bare feet
I seek a small cast of shade
collect superfast superdry washing
Unceremoniously, rapidly, unpleasantly.

Hollow knock: an empty rasp
Give it a shake, listen-
the water tank with its
fast-disappearing lifeblood
evaporates out of existence.

Jesse Falk