After the heat passed out of our veins and cold sucked all energy right through the soles of our feet to the same place shadows reached to. When your voice seemed to linger, half calling, your smile flickering in my periphery. That was when I turned my head, slow and deliberate, lips caught around words I’d wished I’d said to you.
Each evening I begin unwinding myself, searching out the teasing thread that will lead to the knots wrangled tighter each day. As if I am a set of headphones snaring pocket lint in my tangled nets until I’ve frayed too far, and simply snap.
The sign says no running, and the tiles are slick with water sloshed up from bodies heaving soaked costumes over the ceramic edge. Blown out cheeks, red eyes, and tremble arms, one bloke who kick off as if it will propel him up, flailing mockery of a front crawl splattering onto the pool edge where a teenage lifeguard squeegees the flooded walkway back to damp, yellow shirt a symbol that he’s been trained to fetch a brick from the depths of the deep end. Moves slow while his colleague plays cat’s cradle, with the whistle roped around their neck, discuss who will hose down the shower stalls, since the pool is almost empty now, apart from the elderly pair doing lengths, and a girl bone dry in the changing room arch telling herself to step out of the fringes before the clock on the wall ticks along further and the whistle is blown for the last call.
I chose option three for tonight’s poetics prompt, and incorporated the word fringe into my poem. I’ll admit to feeling a little apprehensive about posting, especially when one of my previous poems got a shout out in the prompt post, I felt as if I’d set a standard to live up to.
Salt stiffened, her wings don’t lift except pinwheeling feathers caught helter-skelter by sea breeze, sun bleached and lichen lined. Watches for the hands rising, faces breaking among shallows, hope and desperation. She sings for them. Caged in her cove, she sings.