It's Hot in Indianapolis, Basquiat

Adrian Matejka

It hasn’t rained in 6 weeks & my jaw is so tight, it clicks
like my mother’s heels in the early-morning kitchen every
time I try to talk. Indy & summertime’s disreputable shimmer

of salt & red spray paint is on all the recalcitrant domes
in this sweaty space. Each August day redoing its former,
cooler self on Section 8 brick—off-brand complexions swathed

into colorful progressions of meat & grin. Exhaust pipes hardly
hang on again, scraping glitter from potholes unrelentingly
like a refrigerator door opening in the heat. & later, when

it gets even hotter, the corrugated need for forgiveness makes
facsimiles on the ball court—discotheques of sweaty arms & high
top sneakers as broken & elbowed as some other city’s name—

one with air conditioning & deep-ended swimming pools, whistling
lifeguards & water fountains, even. I’d swim there if I knew how.

This is one of two poems by Adrian Matejka. Click to read "Those Minor Regrets".