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  • Writer's pictureGastropoda

heatwave warning by Arushi (Aera) Rege

and this is how it goes, my

skin stuck to the sofa, my thighs

slick with sweat, my bra

soaked in the sun. so it’s summer, so

it’s a dry heat, so it’s suicide, so it’s

jumping in the pool, so it’s

one hundred and sixteen degrees, so

i’m sixteen, so we do this over and

over and over and over and over.

and this is how it goes, you

lie down on my bed, so the touch

tank commences, so we lie down, our

skin fusing together with the heat, the

fan virtually useless, stuck in perpetual

motion. my room smells like icyhot, and

you’re just here to make sure i’m taking

tylenol responsibly, but the heat is

unbearable, and i don’t know how to

get over the migraine. watch the sunset

go down and tell me you’ll stay.

and this is how it goes, the heat making

us both miserable, the poolside empty

for once, the sun beating down on us and

this is what i mean. i mean: the stars aren’t

visible, but i want to see the sky illuminate

with you. tell me you love me: in which season?

in what moment? in which language? i mean:

i know too many languages and i don’t know

how to love in enough of them.

and this is how it goes, the heatwave warning

pings on my phone and the migraine is still

here, but it’s summer, so the pool is still

warm, and we’ve never managed to keep

succulents alive, but there they are, on our

windowsill regardless, so it’s one hundred and

sixteen degrees, so my skin is soaked with

sweat, so the touch tank commences.

and this is how it goes, we pretend that

one day you won’t leave this behind, and

i’m stuck trying to immortalize this summer in

my mind, and my head is fuzzy, like

i’m wading through amber, honey yellow

thoughts drip down bright red skies; the

heat is unbearable, regardless, and i don’t

smell like icyhot anymore. the heatwave

warning sounds in the background, and

i remind myself that this is all ending.

and this is how it goes; watch the sunset

with me and tell me you’ll stay. lie down

under the covers in this miserable heat, when

the poolside’s left empty and my skin

fuses with yours. tell me you love me in

every language, in every season, and tell

me you’ll stay.


Arushi (Aera) Rege is a queer, Indian-American poet who simultaneously attends junior year in high school. In their free time, they can be found reading good books, listening to R&B, and stressing over college. They tweet occasionally @academic_core and face the perils of instagram @aeranem_26. Their works have been published or are forthcoming in Stone of Madness Press, Full House Literary Magazine, fifth wheel press, and more. You can find their website at

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