Cool July

Finally, after hours of sitting on the couch, he says, it’s gorgeous outside. Can I open the windows? No, I say. No, because of the previous fly infestation. But he props open the front door anyway, and I feel the rush of cool air in July.

I can’t get my shoes on fast enough.

Outside, I pass the four plastic ant-traps and stop at the ornamental plant I monitor every morning. Since this morning, one of the pale lavender buds has begun to break open. Or perhaps I forgot to check hours ago.

Next to it on the chipped paint of the house, a lightening bug electrifies. The reach of its small sphere of green light expands with increasing darkness.

Dark falls quickly on the edge of night in summer. It’s nine o’clock and amazingly still light. It’s nine-oh-two and dusk. By nine-thirty, there’s no mistaking the approaching night.

The fireflies are brighter luminaries now. Another hovers next to my face and blinks, its top shell thrust back and its underwings a-blur. Its legs dangling–thisclose–remind me of its bugginess, and my skin prickles at five imaginary mosquito bites.

I suffer none.

The fireflies continue to blink on, blink on, blink on, until, at maximum darkness, they could light a path. The ornamental plant waits for morning.

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