summers ‘round / things are hot / got everyone so vulnerable in the grocery store / kids aren’t in school / so the white bread aisle is crowded / and the popsicles are gone / and the hot dog dads beef up at self-checkout / because this is the 21st century south / and survival instincts only kick in at self-checkout / on the way to load up the car / my armpit rubs the hair into my shirt / the egg cartons squeak together in the plastic bag / disgusting moment / disgusting sound / i put the buggy back / and adjust a few half-ass carts thrown in / by people with no masks on / and a man with no mask on passing by tells me i am doing a good deed / yea, i pant, i fucking hate when people leave buggies like this / and he tells me to not say fuck /
summers ‘round / things are hot / got everyone so vulnerable at the gas station / i only notice the sweat when we stop / and get gas / you turn the car off and pump / beside the red trucker / in between the latino couple / i fiddle with my phone / before digging the cuffs out of my thighs / and with all our insides sweating / i start to feel like a dead wife / in the dead of summer / too dead for winter even / it is so hot no one can say anything to each other / only sip coca-cola / in vanilla / cherry / orange / i see a divorce exchange / and rusty plastic newspaper holders / i wonder if my father still buys lotto tickets from these places / you get back in the car and squeeze / the mini hand sanitizer on your belt loop / i say i am so vulnerable / i am so hot sitting here / i only notice the sweat when we stop / so you start the car /
gotta peel out the parking lot now on the way home / stare at society / how it moves so slow / packed full of energy / taco trucks nested at abc / sweet little pigeon laid out by the grass bit before the stop sign / black kitten mewing behind the dumpster of the drive-in / you say it is so hard to eat anything during the summer / it is so hard to eat anything / a song about struggle is on the radio / the lingerie store billboard has new hours / extended / we laugh / we are fine / when we stop the sweat will drizzle down our backs like icing on a cake too soon / slathered onto a moist canvas / spread it around with a knife / it is so hot / and it is making me so vulnerable
Breia Gore is a writer and anarchist based in Colorado with her three cats and human partner. She is an English and journalism student, editor-in-chief of THE HONEY MAG, and author of poetry chapbooks LEO, HOVERING (Bottlecap Press), and STUCK IN A GRAVE (VegAlc Press). A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work on the politics of the working class, morbidity, and trauma have appeared in Glitter MOB, Rogue Agent, Electric Moon Magazine, Katitikan, and more. When she's not being a little punk, writing about her southern roots, or freelancing, she can be found online @gorebreia.