Wednesday, June 07, 2006

No Sweat

Moist communications

Water moving from place to place
Evaporating, condensing, beading, dripping.
One moment floating freely in the air,
The next trapped in some hot armpit.

I sweat profusely, my forehead downpours,
Shirt backs mapped with the heat,
Coastlines of salt on dark cloth,
Record of the long walk home.

My glasses fog up with steamy water vapor,
I finger squeegee streams from my brow.
Shelves with stained caps document
Many days of heat, many hours of labor.

My body lets me know when it is really hot,
With temperature over ninety and very humid,
It releases years of stored up internal water
Flowing through a system of efficient aqueducts.

But there are some that don’t sweat
Never a stain on blouse or shirt
Not the slightest glistening bead
On their brow, arm or upper lip.

They must sweat, but where?
Do they do it in the privacy of
Their own home, making a puddle
in the middle of their living room?

Or do they have canine genes
That cools them off as they talk?
Maybe their body heat is regulated like
the green gecko darting from sun to shade?

On the other hand, when it gets really cold
Do these same people not shiver and shake?
Does their body forget tell them not to lie down,
curl up, sleep and freeze into a block of ice?

William Padgett, 26 June 2005

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