For Steve Bridgens
Even after the sun
has long-since gone down,
the raw, kiln-like intensity
of a day like today
(here, in this overgrown cow town
in late July) can still be felt
well into the night.
The sidewalks and driveways
and newly resurfaced streets
continue to throw off enough heat,
all our overgrown yards enough jungle steam
(due to a brief but mean little thunderstorm
this morning that not even
the weatherman had forseen)
that our clankity old window-unit
is forced to shift down a few degrees
into a lower, more determined gear.
Still, something has called us all out here
to the front porch, tonight;
maybe those recent reports of lightning on the horizon?
Constellations of fireflies churning before our eyes?
The tidal pull of a fat, blood-orange of a moon?
Or, just the inevitable madness of tiny rooms?
All we really need to know
(here on this not-so-disagreeable-night
in Kansas City, KS in late July) is
there's an hour of Mingus
coming up on the radio,
a 'fridge full of beer getting colder and colder
and a one-hitter already loaded up for you
and ready to go.
So, even though we all got jobs
that come calling way too early in the morning
and bills and debts that, over time, have become
highly resistant to our attempts at neutralizing them
and despite all the headlines and sound-bites
(detailing the latest home-grown inanity
or gruesome instance of international mayhem)
that appear to be conspiring to reinforce
the near-blasphemous notion that can
so easily lead one to believe otherwise,
from time to time
the universe does provide.
-Jason Ryberg, 2008