Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Heat Stroke in Redding

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Heat Stroke in Redding

Article excerpt

We've been without water for fifteen hours.

Parked in a yard with the patient rotation of sun

moving over our packs. No shade. Nothing but

scrub-brush and white rocks dotting the tracks.

Small birds hopping from train car to train car,

searching the Hanjin containers for grain.

We breathe slow, intentional breaths. Huddle

our backs in the foot-wide shadow this rusty

container wall casts. Propping our heads up.

Wetting our hair with the rainwater left in

a heat-warped bottle of Sprite. Neither of us

can believe we are fading. Stars in our eyes

and the constant humidity. Stuttering. Slurring

our S's and T's. He says he remembers a time

we were kids. Seven or eight then, sleeping in

bunk beds. One of us waking up sick in the night

from a potluck dinner at church. …

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