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Heat
By Denis Johnson


Here in the electric dusk your naked lover
tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.
It's beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,
Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,
streaming with hatred in the heat
as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin
to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,
and such a last light—full of spheres and zones.
August,
         you're just an erotic hallucination,
just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,
are you serious?—this large oven impersonating night,
this exhaustion mutilated to resemble passion,
the bogus moon of tenderness and magic
you hold out to each prisoner like a cup of light?

--------

We went to the beach on Tuesday morning, where it was a bit cooler than the day before -- low 80s -- and the water wasn't quite as rough, so I swam for longer with Paul and Daniel. Adam, who didn't want to risk being knocked over by the waves and whose legs were itching from the salt water, went to the pool nearby in the beachfront part of the community. We ate a late lunch, then my father took the kids fishing at the catch-and-release pond right near our condo. Daniel caught a very big catfish and both kids caught smaller ones, but a lot of our excitement was watching the snapping turtle steal the bait and seeing the ducks, dragonflies, and other wildlife around.

In the late afternoon, the kids wanted to go to the indoor pool, so my father took them there while my mother, Paul and I went to Sea Shell City in Fenwick Island, home of the DiscoverSea Museum -- downstairs, a big touristy store which in addition to a huge collection of shells and hermit crabs has lots of cheesy pirate, tall ship and sea life souvenirs; upstairs, a collection of artifacts from local shipwrecks plus some famous non-local wrecks like the Titanic, the Edmund Fitzgerald and La Nuestra Senora de Atocha. In the evening after dinner we took a walk and saw bats in the trees, which I suspect the boys and I enjoyed more than my mother did.


Plates and other artifacts from the wreck of the Faithful Steward, which sank near Indian River Inlet, Delaware in 1785 while bound for Philadelphia.


Only 68 of the 249 passengers from Ireland survived, yet their coins continue to wash ashore to this day.


The DiscoverSea Museum has tanks to restore items from the sea to a more polished condition...


...though some items from famous wrecks have purposefully been left in the condition in which they were retrieved.


These items are from the remains of the RMS Empress of Ireland, which sank in 1914 with over 1000 people aboard after being struck by a Norwegian coal ship, the worst nautical disaster in Canadian history.


The museum's label on this Renaissance miniature sundial, about one inch across, is pretty self-explanatory.


From the RMS Republic, which sank in 1909 after a collision with the immigrant ship SS Florida -- though nearly everyone aboard was rescued, thanks to the newly invented Marconi wireless telegraph -- a collection of intact wine bottles.


This case contains a new display since we visited last summer, a diorama of a recovery dive above and below the water.


Wednesday we are planning to go to Assateague to see the ponies, deer and other wildlife!

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