Once upon a time, high up in the Sandias outside of Albuquerque, I sat comfortably in my van, in sunshine, while ten yards in front of me a solid wall of snow slanted down, making the rattling, that sliding sound as when there are so many snowflakes they bump into each other.

Today I prowl indoors, couch to kitchen to couch again. To go outside is to venture into a marshmallow clasp of heat, clingy, smoky, stinging if you are driving with your arm out the car window.  The apartment is sealed up, the swamp cooler refining & wetting the air.

Tonight I walk outside to the grasp of smoke long tired even of itself, yet still pouring upward, the smoke of a forest being transformed from earth to ash. It is an exhaustive fire. It is not going to sleep for the night. It’s an irresistible heat, sustained, defensive & bullying. Smoke nestles down in the bowl of the town, a cloud from a distance, yet seemingly clear from within it.

The breaking mornings are coolest; a shifting night breeze has peeled off the smoke & the air seems moist in the absence of that forged heat.

Indelible summer arrives.