This is the time of year when I can’t stop shaking, when I can’t be still. Dripping sweat just sitting in the shade, I can see no beauty except for the cords strung over my bones that pump blood just fast enough for me to sift through the air. “Gonna be like this all week,” my scrappy old neighbor says, “that’s what they’re saying.” They’re saying you’re gonna fight the urge to drink all week.

Gently the traffic grows quiet. Gently a boy leans his bike against the porch and walks away. Gently a young man walks down the steps of his apartment. Gently my thoughts grow loud. Gently the ice in my glass clanks against the table. Gently a fly pulls my skin.