Tznius in the Summer

In summer G-d stops being tznius
nothing to hide, just the hot open world
its clothes ripped off, secrets hanging out

The city sheds layers of clothes like
insects climbing out of hibernation

smells smell smellier and shades stay open
till late in the night
grasping for snatches of breeze
instead we get loud and steady
trickles of party
not that we were invited

to overhear
the flirts, the music, the yelled conversations
and manic insistencies they’re okay to drive
and I think of my kids

taking over the streets
armed with a basketball and some scooters
swaggering down the block like they owned it
because they own it

Schools can teach you some things
but here on dirty sidewalks
is where lessons are gotten,
experience is earned
and life is lived

Hot town, the heat is a rash
to scratch it is to pick 
your nose in public, stripping was never
so inviting as this, and neither was
the rest of the world

I want to be a part of it
the mosquitoes and corner sprinklers
charred meat and saltwater
ice so good you can suck it
straight from the freezer
rub it naked on your
collarbone

it’s the summer
in the city
and the summer
and the city

and the secrets
and the show offs
and the lateness
and the lessons

in the tznius,
tznius city


Photography: Daria Sannikova