It’s so soakingly humid 
That I swim on the pavements
I glide
Through the waves of moisture
Like an eel,
No, like a duck in water
Submerged, breathing through new-fangled gills
A chimerical, mystical thing
The stuff of science fiction and ETs
In a universe of visions and dreams
Morphing, dissolving, changing
Even as I wade on

When I bring a glass to my lips
To quench a thirst that sits
Uneasily, timorously in my throat
There, but not really there
More habit-driven than the need
To drench a parched desert inside my skin
I swim into the water
Like a goldfish, lips turgid
Gut kicking against the liquid intrusion
But the impulse of living
Compels me to sip, sip, sip
Until I think I’ve had enough

When I dress in the morning
Each garment feels like cellophane
Stuck tightly to me, I’m cling-wrapped
Even though each begins its day airily
Lightly. I look at myself in the mirror
My forehead is already wet
In the heat of protest
Against the layers I must don
Linen - lying-in wait to suffocate
Cotton - caught-on my liquified bones
Fabric, propriety, a proper-riot
Of ceaseless stickiness
More fabric, more properness
I ignore the tangled wrangle within
I now wear also my morning smile
Even as my upper lip glistens
With the sweat of struggle
Ageless now, muscle-memorized
I step onto the pavement
To swim, swim, swim
In my designated line.
Image: Gerry Miles

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