Four days of rain. Then an afternoon storm, a morning threat, and another downpour. A week of this at least. We lose count. We pack away the idle swimsuits and slog through every errand with an extra umbrella in the passenger seat.
Floorboards buckle up from slab. The door swells, resisting its jamb’s unyielding corset. Tiny ants breach the cinnamon fortress and try to escape into the pages of books, the weave of the carpet, any island in this ever-expanding gulf of damp. On the balcony, the cilantro and parsley bolt then shrivel. The snow peas, drunk and throbbing just days ago, now droop from bleached stems.
Even the bedsheets offer no relief. An invisible film binds leg, thigh, cheek, lashing us against the dark wash of dreams.
Before another futile attempt at sleep, I must go out. I take the dog. The sky is taking a breath so we hop over a thousand small pools and wind our way past the jungle gym and the swingset. We climb through the creeping vine tunnel and slip out beyond the lamplit warren of our neighborhood.
Out there is field, shadow, the traffic plunging below the horizon in a steady aquatic hush. The first lightning bug shines its beacon low across the brambles.
A honeysuckle mist clings to the remains of the equinox, lingering like spider silk long after its source has taken leave.
Thunder miles off growls across the distance, flashing its tail, baring its blunt teeth.