The Big Red Hat & All The Little Hurts

Today was a photograph worth shredding. A friend comes over with a swamp cooler because the temporary home in which I live scalds at eighty-seven degrees. Heat rises up all around me, makes me slick and sour.

We don’t wear masks or maybe I forget or perhaps I secretly crave something I can no longer have, but we keep our distance. We stand six feet apart and I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten, but I notice she’s sun-soaked and sepia-toned. Her happiness registers and it’s deliciously loud and off-key. She’s in love and she deserves this love and I want her to have this love, but I stand in the middle of eighty-eight degrees wondering when will it stop being so hard.

Why is love always just beyond my reach?