Because February

February is in the deep end
sharks and minnows
for the first and tenth time too many.

Dive in to win,
the only way is down.

Once the weight is crushing,
chlorine peeled pupils
scour for direction.
A burning squint is better than blind
in the 12 feet below.

Popped ears grope at the muted wavelengths,
and pruny fingertips
brush the silt and old hairbands and then
the bandaid.

Every time.

Framed in the rosy memory of fresh air,
forgotten are sweet inspirations,
while wriggle-dodging
that pair of trunks
who takes it all too far.

Then the scrape knuckle wall
means safe
and still far away
from the first gasp,

a minnow one more round.



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