Traci O'Dea

January in the Tropics


Your bedroom's a cliché from any movie made
in these hot climes: cathedral ceiling painted white
with fans that spin at such slow speeds, I wonder why
you turn them on at all. You say they move like that
from using so much force to push the bloated air,
like torque on an electric drill. Sahara dust
coats spines of swollen paperbacks that we've both read.
The ready-to-be-boxed-up Christmas lights are draped
across a cranked-shut, louvred window which keeps out
mosquito bites. The gathered net is pulled aside,
inert and grey. But what the camera doesn't show
is sweat that sticks our clothes to us on sheets we've stained
with ink, the springs that poke against our ribs, or how
the streetlight sparkles on the rippled glass like snow.