rose stink

I like to imagine you think of me
on very hot summer nights
when the wind pulls the rose stink
from around the backyard
and into the front
you on the old webbed lawn chair
with your sun tea
reading novel after novel 
until the sun drops like a penny 
into the slit of the earth

you in old Hawaiian shirts
and me beside you
scribbling in moleskin notebooks
practicing becoming me
we had a list of words
that described southeastern Ohio in August
the cruelest month
like Eskimos 
but the snow was sweat bead rivers
that ran down your nose and
between my breasts
we wrote them in poems and short stories
and included them in drunken gibberish late at night
the words all meant more than heat
more than the hot thick humid Ohio summer
the words all meant the sad brutishness of fate
and how years later I cannot for the life of me
understand what happened to us