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In Sommerville

Today will break records for heat. Today, the coast will spend the afternoon worshiping fans and air conditioners, swamp coolers, and shore excursions, as sweat trickles down the washboard of their spines before soaking into their belt loops. People will swear and pant, cursing the blanket of humidity that smarts of hot needles as they amble across streets and through alleys, seeking any shade they can.

Tomorrow, just down the street, a beautiful dark-haired woman will board the train and secretly listen to the two men gossiping in Spanish as she passes their seats. Tomorrow, in Paris, a man will forget that his knapsack was cleverly stolen as he slept in the train station and will instead embrace two friends he hasn't seen in years

Tomorrow, in Argentina, a cool winter breeze will blow. A man will sit on the pitched roof of his house and watch the sunset. The faces of long-lost travel companions with whom he shared a Samoan fale a decade earlier will glace across his thoughts before the calls of his young daughter draw him back inside.

Tomorrow, in Cairo, a man will pack a few earthly possessions in his canvas shoulder pack and begin a journey that will be more trying than any he has yet known.

Tomorrow, in Beirut, Dili, Java, and Gulu, eyes will gleam and hands will shake as the very fabric of human resilience is hemmed, tested, and worn…

And tomorrow, in Somerville, a woman will sit at her tiny kitchen table while scrolling through the triumphant and tragic news from across the globe. She will quietly sip coffee, composing letters in her head to friends in far-off places. The coffee in her cup will be made steaming hot because the east coast fever will finally break, and the rain will wash the oppressed heat into the streets before sending it seaward.



'A word after a word after a word is power.' 

-Margaret Atwood

The English language was the only instrument I was ever meant to play in this life. Stories and poems are a way of letting the air into rooms that have long been left unvisited. Whatever may have brought you here today, I hope the journey resonates with you.

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