| words that get in your teeth

hot july night by eric short

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In your bed, pretending to sleep, secretly
counting fan blades like flower petals, wondering
He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me.
Thank god there are five.

 

And, thankfully
my snoring offers more white noise
than the whirr of the ceiling fan, because

 

laying in my bed, unable to fall asleep
without a ceiling fan of my own,
I forget how many petals your daisy has.
My brain spins faster than the blades when

 

I accidentally turned the fan too high.
He loves me not. He loves me not.
He loves me not!
But, you only notice a fan as strong as

 

the dust amassed its blades,
clinging tightly, suffocating.
No air left to circulate.

 

I noticed the fan in that July heat,
on my knees, seeking God’s direction
as the fireworks exploded on my
oohs and aahs. And now I remember

 

replacing our fan with a window unit.

Eric Short teaches public speaking to college students and is just beginning his voyage into the world of poetry. He lives with his husband and two cats in the Twin Cities where he enjoys cooking, gardening and overthinking.

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