It’s not the hottest summer of their red-nosed lives, but it is a close call. The Verona apartment complex becomes a desert oasis, wavering at the edges. The pavement burns and bubbles as cats mew irritably from their windowsill perches. Clotheslines criss-cross taut between balconies; the garments hanging from them–once colorful, patched flags–are now bleached bone.
“This isn’t a normal drought,” neighbors whisper to one another between balconies, licking the desiccated insides of their mouths.