Thin Ice

[Day of the 31 Days of Poetry]

'When I was younger,' he told her, 'I worked at hay-time 
on my uncle's farm. It was the dead grip of Summer, when 
the Sun has the land, and the air, by the throat.' 
'I asked you how you feel about Me,' she said primly, 
her back stiffening with womanly indignation, 
'and you're describing some hellish haze of yore!' 
'I'm getting to that. Be patient.'
She glared and sniffed and hmpf'd her thoughts, 
but otherwise stayed silent. 

'As I was saying,' he began again, the picture of wounded dignity, 
''twas beastly hot and we were  bucking hay, which meant heavy jeans 
and long-sleeved shirts to keep from being scratched to death.'
Her eyes popped. She intook voluminous breath, preparing an 
assault of verbal tongue-lashing. He raised a hand to forestall the 
inevitable 'I'll show you scratched to death!' 

'Please....let me finish.'

Her arms crossed beneath her breasts; if she had a tail it'd be lashing. 
He dissuaded himself from pithy comment on how enticing her figure
looked in that position, and went on. 'When we came in from the fields at lunch, 
then at night, after eight, sometimes as late as ten, the light all but gone but 
the heat still hanging, we were parched. Thirsty like there is simply 
no way to describe. They had a well by the barn, deep, with water so cold 
it hurt your hand to hold a glassful.' 

He looked at her. She was no longer pouting, but was staring at him intently. 

'They say, when you're super hot, and 
super thirsty, don't drink cold water. 
They also say do not drink fast, and 
do not drink a whole lot at once.'
'You'll get sick.' she finished. 
'Just so.' he said.

'When you're so hot all you can do is pant huge gulps of air, and 
your mouth is so dry any saliva is like paste, and you're so thirsty 
your head hurts almost like a migraine - that's when you must be
 the most careful. Don't drink too much, don't drink too fast, and don't 
drink too cold, You'll throw up. Your stomach will ache. You'll get chills.  All of it.'

He paused, milking the moment, letting it hang heavy and ripe between them.

'But it doesn't matter, 'cause when you're THAT thirsty, 
you don't care if you get sick. There is nothing on this Earth 
so painfully delicious as cold, refreshing water when you're 
dying of thirst. And you can't help it. You gulp it down, as much 
as you can, as fast as you can. No matter the cost you know you'll pay.'

One more pause, then he brought it home.

'THAT's how I feel about you. You're dangerous, sure, this is known, 
I've been warned. I know I should be careful. I know I should go slowly,
 but I can't. You're the cold refreshing water, and I'm a man dying of thirst.
I just can't get enough of you, no matter what the cost.'

That shut her up. 
(For awhile, anyway.)

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1 comment:

jacquelin said...

♥ so good, Hyperion. Truly.