A Hundred Degrees on July 5th Pantoum

Blood in the corners
from my weakened gums
framing this day’s
things to accomplish.

From my weakened gums
comes out a list of promises,
things to accomplish
under the hundred degree heat.

Out comes the list of promises
as tasks are done
wilting under the heat until
almost before nightfall.

Tasks to be done are done,
checked off in order
before I almost fall after nightfall,
barely breathing.

Check off in order
the latest symptoms –
barely breathing,
dizzily pacing.

The latest symptoms –
sweat and sickness,
dizzily pacing,
timing my heartbeats.

Sweat and sickness,
counting down to sleep’s cure,
timing my heartbeats
back to normal.

Counting down to sleep’s cure.
Index card flossing,
back to normal,
a blank memory.

Index card flossing leaves
blood in the corners
a blank memory
framing the day.

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