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If the Summer Heat Doesn't Kill Me


By Steve B HowardPublished 2 years ago 1 min read
If the Summer Heat Doesn't Kill Me
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The brutal August heat of Nagoya feels like it is tearing

the flesh from my body as the sweat rolls down my face

and evaporates as quickly as the Japanese phrases

I thought I’d put to memory moments ago.

A blue and white city bus rumbles up to the curb.

A stream of orange Kanji and Hiragana race across

the LCD reader on the front of the bus. I wait for the

English then climb aboard. I take a seat by the window

wondering if I’ll be sitting alone today.

Soon the bus is filled with the tired faces of early

rising salary men dressed in dark blue and black

business suits. They chat listlessly or read the newspaper

in the aisle and seats around me. A square-faced man sits

next to me so close I can smell his hairspray and the

lingering cigarette smoke.

Looking out the window I see an old woman standing

on the curb at the number seven stall. She is hunchbacked

and her torso is nearly parallel with the sidewalk. In her

left hand, she holds an unfurled white umbrella above

her head that casts a tiny shadow along her body. For a second,

as the bus pulls away, I catch her eyes; two brown rocks

sweltering in the heat. In her eyes, all I see are questions, something like,

“Can I really live through another summer?”

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About the Creator

Steve B Howard

Steve Howard's self-published collection of short stories Satori in the Slip Stream, Something Gaijin This Way Comes, and others were released in 2018. His poetry collection Diet of a Piss Poor Poet was released in 2019.

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