We are in the throat of August. The summer has slowed to an eeking crawl, the days stale hours of scorching sun.

Cicadas call incessantly. The air hovers.

It is too hot to do anything, too hot to do anything except sit, all the draperies tied, any sliver of heat a death sentence, too hot. The house is a brick. Slow-baked.

We sit in the parlour. The newspaper lies untouched, even though its near midday and it sits, waiting, on the small side table. It will not be opened.

Later, when the statues move, thrown away.

Slow fanning in muted light.

The house is quiet, all of us paralyzed in this oppressive space. The walls oppressively close, the air oppressively still. There is a type of silence. Or a reverberation of the absence of sound.

Upstairs, Lolly lies stagnant in the antique bed. The posts loom large above her, the sheets too formal with their hems of lace. Here nobody has closed the drapes, and the sun beats down on the hardwood floor.

It is too hot. Too hot for Lolly.

Feverish. Damp hair and burning forehead.

Downstairs we sit quietly, unmoving, safe in the sanctuary of the shuttered parlour. The thinning curtain a betrayer of the heat outside, a tired veil against the seeping light.

There is no forgiveness here, no confessionals, no pardons.

Upstairs the sun.

The rage of August.

The wrath of life.



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