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.