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Heat Mirage

"pyrrhic freedoms fade softly / into heat of noon sweat"

Published onApr 03, 2021
Heat Mirage


“Mi amor es paso, tránsito, larga muerte gustada”

-Federico García Lorca


Sun spotlights the measured pass of hours:

slow wilt of alcohol and tobacco

in the bare oven of a box house

in sub-tropical Texas.


Rhythm of detergent paint-dripped

across enamel basket, sough of rumpled cloth,

door bang and pump, the soiled weight

under salt-stained sun.

Water flows and wash

cycles time through wobbly sprints of forenoon work.


Over worn sink, traced delicate in calcium,

last blast of morning catches me

full in the face as it escapes

above the garage and beyond

the rented house.


Here, buzzed present

stills the consequence of choice—

its chain of command,

seductive past,

loosening cocaine grips,

blinding nights;

pyrrhic freedoms fade softly

into heat of noon sweat.


The compost can leaks rich,

heavy dankness

out into backyard—

the trowel churns dirt

as peels, rinds, and eggshells

tumble into the loamy

brown mouth. For a second,

dripping, I see a mirage:

all my broken parts swallowed

into cool, dirty wholeness.




Joshua Bridgwater Hamilton is a Louisville, KY native who migrated to Corpus Christi with his family, where he teaches Spanish. Between Kentucky and Texas, he has traveled and lived in several places, including Spain, Appalachia, Panamá, Peru, the Philippines, and the Colorado River.  He has two chapbooks: Rain Minnows (Gnashing Teeth Publishing), and Slow Wind (Finishing Line Press), and his poetry appears in such journals as Windward ReviewDriftwood, Voices de la LunaTiny Seeds Journal, and Sybil Journal.

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