Summer Solstice

84 today
Same tomorrow
Young summer’s body heat
gathering, growing
Slider open, broken latch screen closed
shade down
Box fan, facing in
ragged scraping
of bamboo oscillating over
second story eaves
uneasy tales, tireless
recitals of
caress, abrasion
restless accounts
of ache, resistance
Barest brush
of delicately fingered shoots
feathering the edges of an almost-dream –
skin, tongues, limbs –
belies the crushing callousness
of night’s regardless gods
Across the window shade, tall stalks’ shadows
longing and bending
into this room
that won’t stay nearly
dark enough
long enough
on this
lightest, latest, longest night
of no sleep


Terry Wilhelm is a poet and photographer living in southern California. Her chapbook, No Net, was published by the Laguna Poets’ Society, and her black and white film print, Rice Junction, was recently published in the inaugural edition of The Sourland Mountain Review.  Time lapse photography of the Milky Way is her new interest, an apt combination with her written body of work, largely composed during the middle of the night – the gift of a lifetime of insomnia.