Ode to Sweat
Today's prompt was to create a kind of deck of cards with words, and to use those words to come up with a poem. I put my list of words into a random chooser online because I was too lazy to print and cut my cards, and it came up with "Dear" and "Sweat" as my words. It also chose strawberry and murmur, which might be interesting to get into this poem about sweat as well. Alas, here's my attempt. I like to sweat. I'm weird like that. It makes me feel alive. I feel like as women, we're taught to fear our scent. But sweat carries that, and it's empowering. At any rate, here's my ode to sweat.
Ode to Sweat
Dear sweat, I love the way you wash me clean—
Pooling at my back’s smell,
Misting in the crevices of me,
You remind me that this flesh
Is nothing like a delicate flower,
Stationary, carried by the wind,
But this: muscle, bone, and grit
That needs nothing but your river
Running through it to keep on.
Dear sweat, you are the miracle
Of a cool breeze bringing me to life
Again while in the midst of a summer run,
The pavement pounding at my feet.
You are the coolness on a summer night
When I wake and you’re surrounding me
Again with what the body knows it needs.
When afraid, you burst forth from my pores
On cue to take the heat away. Oh sweat,
Your smell is everything I am,
Even though I try to mask you
With the soft scents of baby powder,
Springtime flowers, anything
But you. But you break through.
Sweat, you keep me company
on my long runs through the forests
of suburbia, on the hunt for the beast
within myself, the one whose thirst you quench.