There is no glory in trickling sweat
from forehead, armpit, round your waist
– and crotch
Betrayed by damp, dark armpit patches showing
and sticky, damp underwear felt but not seen
– as yet.
There is no glory in swollen feet
and swollen ankles, swollen wrists
– and swollen expectations
Dampened by sunburned brows,
scorched forearms, bleach-white calves
– and pale shoulder-strap tramlines.
There is no glory in pounding headaches,
leaden limbs, listlessly living
– dragging through the days.
Like waiting for Godot, or a cancelled bus,
or waiting, tea towel in hand, for the fly to land
– the kettle eventually to boil.
There is no glory in salads on salad days,
food with no food value and no virtue
– to recommend it
or, on barbecue evenings, spatula in hand,
standing roasting back and front
– a night of burned horrors.
There is no glory when they report, from a seaside resort
with HD TV glee and joy, “Another glorious day.”
and, in a million homes, mental rocks
are hurled in mental waves
to dash against the sure-line
“Another glorious day.”
delivered without a hint of irony
or empathy with the crestfallen.
It isn’t glorious.
It’s just… hot.
we are paper-of-skin thin in places
unlike other places
of velour-skin that doesn’t paper-cut
and pig-thick-skin that bounces bullets
some parts of us a pea-shooter pea
penetrates and maims
more translucent there in tissue coverlet
admitting any object flung
time moves our slender threads of tenderness
and words and mere looks can dash a spirit
in places where, in eaten moments,
wounds excruciate in simple waves of air