Words for Hot
from house to house, light takes the hills
until the valley's only mist
in the landscape's corners.
All night the cold worried my feet.
I dreamed of beaches,
inventing shapes to trap
my own blood heat,
but found no way to catch
sizzle in paving stones,
the hiss from whitewashed walls. A bone-
ache chill replaced them. This morning
I crave all
the names for hot
that are not another body--
cauldron, scorch, volcano, August, roast
I know there are
not enough various heats in this
one flesh to match the dazzled brick.
2River View, 3_4 (Summer 1999)