A Poem to Give Some Comfort in the Middle of a Long Winter: Phoenix, AZ

Somewhere, right now, it is evening in Phoenix.
The pavement is bleeding heat,
the desert air is crackling
with sparks of laughter.

Everyone comes outside.
Everyone is talking at once.
The city wanted them out of doors,
and they cannot sleep for the heat.

Young people sit on boxes
on a second-floor balcony.
They are drinking from a jug that they
pass around, and caressing a guitar.

Someone is reading poetry.
Someone is in the pool, after hours.
The sound of impatient autos
flies and is lost ecstatically.

Imported palms creak gently
to short breezes, deliver warm relief,
tobacco smoke, and scents
of rotting pears and hydrangea.

As we speak, this sigil of opulence,
impossible oasis — growing from red rocks,
is still awake and out of doors
because it is too damn hot to sleep
in Phoenix Arizona.