In Heat

Visual by Nani Gutiérrez

July – December 2020

In the thick of it. On all fours. We’re crouched on the warm soil as billions of bacteria give off essential gasses. Condensation rolls down glass from the evaporation of bodies as they dance, think, fear, fight, love, feel determined, and hold each other. The speed of atoms in high temperatures – friction – roiling boils and bubbling oil – police cars are on fire but prisons are next.

Action, pursuit, consumption, righteous rage, defiance of norms, depletion of resources, the heat of this moment threatens to burn it all down and it feels like dreams could come true, like hearts could split open with passion and desire. Generate heat by rubbing your legs together, as your eyes shoot fire across the room. When you’re too hot, you can only peel off your skin. 

We’ve been ranting, screaming, and letting it all out. Now hot tears are burning down cheeks and it is cathartic, and almost relaxing to let this heat stream down and out the body, washing off the residue and pumping you up for the bounce back. We are watching the Tower of the Major Arcana—the monolith of capitalism, of privatized health care, incarceration, and military power—burn. The structure seemed too solid, but its foundation was always faulty.

WEARING YOURSELF OUT but still got an appetite. Wrestling with your sibling or lover until you’re covered in sweat. Stuck in a room on a 30 degree humid day and masturbating until the sheets are wet, unable to see anyone, unable to do anything. Leaving the stove on, feeling how it is to put your hand over it. Summer longing. A dog in a diaper and humping a pillow because it is IN HEAT.

To be implicated. To scream YES at the top of your lungs. To say no. To disagree. To amplify voices that have been blown out. Now’s not the time to be wishy-washy; now’s for consciously directed energy, for throwing our weight behind our words, for transforming through fire. Listening, tapping a seam to breach the dam, or watching the ice melt all take patience but the thirst for a new normal is about to be quenched. 

What would you risk for this? How brave can you be? How crimson is your passion? How hot are your hands? How badly does the earth need to cool down and how can we use the excess heat that’s been generated over the past couple millenia to redistribute, reevaluate, and redirect the energy?