In the spring
After the swallows return to Capistrano
The air conditioner returns to the window by my desk.
The big-bottomed beast,
Its face squashed between sill and frame,
Waggles its behind
Six stories above the sidewalk
Where cell-yakking striders
And hopping third graders
And splay-footed joggers
And stoic dogwalkers,
Five leashes in hand,
This living organism
Joins our micro-ecosystem,
Delivering wisps of chilly breath
Through slotted teeth
During late-spring snows;
Striking a percussive beat
As the rain pings off its back,
The way my brother drums a solo
On his stomach
To the song on the radio.
He cuts my light in half,
He swells our bill like a snarfing houseguest,
He shelters pigeons,
Who gather in the shade of his overhang
And coo from their cloak of invisibility.
And come July,
I love this monstrous beast
With unseemly sweaty gratitude.