SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Signs of Dehydration by Anna Leahy

          …a sobering message for Southern California after a week of raging wildfires: this is your new normal. 

CNN, December 10, 2017




The only thought, water.


Rising tides, the boats lifted. Water, water, everywhere.


The lips crack as if kissed too much, as if leaving the mouth, dry.


Heat is a game. You’re getting warmer. You’re burning up.


Weakness, in the knees, of the flesh, in the moment.


Early leafing, early blooming. How will the bees know the when of their lives?


The body reshaped too easily, the back of the hand unable to feel its form.


Loss of ice and snow, the world uncapped by thaw.


Inability to eliminate waste when there's something soluble left to give.


Swimming acidity by the tons, oceans moving toward neutral.


The heart races. The blood’s sluggish.


Wind means fire. Rain means flood. The weather becomes wild.


Loss of salt, in the wound, worth one’s. Everything depends upon the smallest pinch, a grain.


More frequent and violent extremes. Abrupt, from the Latin to break away. Or steep.


Slowing, confusion, the world spinning.


Fever, the world over. Earth in stupor.


Sleep. Or extreme dozing off, or sleep that cannot reverse itself.


Anna Leahy is the author of the poetry collections Aperture and Constituents of Matter as well as the nonfiction book, Tumor. She is the co-author of Generation Space and Conversing with Cancer. She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chapman University. See more at www.amleahy.com.

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