It is the summer the air stands still
for days, the trees unmoving.
It is the summer of Batman
and the boy roams the block in his black
cape, trapping toads in his palms
and throwing them in the road.
And at night the boy chases the moon
into the cornfield, fleeing
the bellow of his father’s voice,
the large, red hands lifting
him into the tub. Over and over he dreams
his father’s huge hands hold him under the clear
water, the porcelain cold on his palms.
Outside the mouths of tiger lilies gape
open. The azaleas by the door grow wild
and wicked as hands.