Longanimity

by Alex Feldman

 

It’s a sweltering July night

I haven’t heard from my girl

For days

My air conditioner looks like R2D2 and hasn’t worked

For weeks

The cheapest fan I could find

Sputters as I sweat tar

 

Words crawl across

The TV screen

Notifying me of a dangerous

Chemical in the water

I am warned not to drink it

I am warned not to wash with it

 

I draw a sad horse on my wall

Then run a bath,

Leave the bathroom,

And check my phone;

No missed calls

 

When I return

The water floats Dodger blue

In the white ceramic

 

I dip my leg in the water

It is cool

Just as I planned

Just as I need

 

All I know is the water is “dangerous”

It could give me a rash,

Burn the hair off my body,

Infect me with bacteria,

Creep up inside my genitals

Killing my sperm

Rendering me impotent,

Maybe it will disintegrate me all together

 

Gladly

Slowly

Surely

I submerge myself

 

Right now the risk

Is worth the relief

Like that extra drink

Or a cigarette

Or a woman

 


 

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