This Is A Gut Feeling by M. Eileen

In the rhomboid of a swimming pool crowned
with Catskill forestry, thick-trunked,
perpetually velvet and tick-infested,
the disinfectants lick her foot at the first step into the
water, second, third. Shivers flutter up the
shin the calf up up the thigh. Too crisp,
cutting into the skin like serrated spears
But the temperature of this water is always
overwhelming at first?
This is not a gut feeling.

In the shallow end, wavelets made by other parties
swallow the neck, blinded by the chlorine sting,
the rise, counterclock flip of the waves
faded with age and filth
caressing the cleavage the collarbones the chin
stomach and legs sealed by nylon.
Someone waits
in the deep end.

They meet in the middle.
Tangles careen as she unties her hair:
“I never learned to swim.”
Retreating to the shallows, she smiles. At the
edge of the pool she watches friends,
lifts a stray slip of sour hair from her iris,
tightens arms about her, kicks feet to keep blood moving.

Her skin, veiled in goosebumps.
Someone wades in the deep end and
knows exactly what he’ll do.

M. Eileen writes near water. Her poetry and prose have been published in Hanging Loose, Lammergeier Magazine, After the Pause, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @m_e_g_writes

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One thought on “This Is A Gut Feeling by M. Eileen

  1. An interesting piece which got a second reading. I couldn’t decide if it was poetry or prose. I think it’s a blend…
    The build up of tension was fab. I was left with the air of mystery – similar to the stresses she feels with the depths and temperature of water.

    Thank you, Eileen.

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