No A/C

I am sick to death of sweat coating my body
Limning the heaviness of my breasts
pooling in my creases, all the folds
inching downward from the bend in my knees.
I can’t bear to wear shoes.

My scalp stinks to high heaven,
aching from the constricting bands
defying gravity to raise the lion’s mane.
The headache is constant and bows not
to caffeine or painkiller.

I have worn my skimpiest yet still decent clothes
(not charming in my “zaftig” state)
for three miserable, interminable days.
It is above 90 degrees in this house.
The poor black dog pants constantly.

Immersing in cold water twice a day
provides clear blue moments of relief -
I am clean! I’m not hot! I feel human! -

but the sweat starts again as I dry.
Anger melts into overheated stupor.

I get up at 5 am to air out the house
all I can, as much as I dare
Please, Lord, don’t let a crazed killer discover
our open doors, open windows, in the dark

but the effort goes unrewarded.

It’s all in the hands of hapless repairmen
who arrive hours late
without the right parts
We’ll finish first thing in the morning, they swear
It is all I can do not to scream.

Tomorrow morning is NOT soon enough.
My sweet teacher’s pet disrupted school today
after waking yet again to havoc and heat
Has something happened at home?
They ask, and I feel indicted.

I should try to be funny about the whole thing,
but I see no humor in this right now.
One more blasted night.
We’re weak, we’re withering here
Please, Lord, keep us sane.

No A/C

JTomblinson

Coppell, United States

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    Notes
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Artist's Description

Summertime in Texas. Highs in the upper 90s, lows in the upper 70s, high levels of humidity. Our A/C unit was 20 years old. When it’s finally replaced, we will have been four days without it. You do the math.

Artwork Comments

  • mstrace
  • JTomblinson
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  • JTomblinson
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  • JTomblinson
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