California Wild

Jane Greenip ‘22

Heat Wave

By Juliana Verrelli ‘21

I am the stifling stillness

that oppressively hot breath

of nothing

which bears down.

Causing bodies to strip naked,

turn away

from neighbors

lest their own skin

bleed into one another.

I am the lesser of two evils:

a blizzard’s scorned sibling and

the bastard offspring of

Mother Nature

that evolution hasn’t

accounted for yet.

I dry up every thought,

jamb the gears on every muscle,

until something less than spit

and sweat

is all that’s left

to move with free reign.

A slow burn, a yearning,

the kind of pleasure that

first stings with pain.

One that spurs the

invincible hunger

pitted low in a hollow stomach.

Driving delicious delirium,

self-inflicted sin

that steadily climbs

with the rise in


Innocuous in July

and a pathogen in


I warm your bones

and your earth

to an alarming degree.

My droughts dry up slippery

fish in their silvery ponds.

A watery oasis turned desiccated grave,

aging nature’s wizened countenance.

My wildfires lick rogue timber,

the sinews of this planet,

swallowing divine and manmade

creations whole.

With the strength

and vigor

of a thousand suns

I eagerly blanket

all of existence

in rapturous arms,

my everlasting

hell blaze.