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"Relief," Poetry by Palmer Smith

Relief


Relief is that spot

in the marble tub

where the hottest part

of bubbled water

hits his spine softly.


He can breathe for now--

imagines his feet

covered in glacier

blue and turquoise scales.


His legs transfigure

into a merman’s

tail--gooey, shining.

His tail transports him

to a shadowed and

concealed cave in the

ancient, wide ocean.


In his cave the pink

Princess Anthias

fish knows him the best.

She brings him hot tea

and healing seaweed.


The turtles massage

his weary muscles;

the octopus naps


on a bed of clams;

The hot sand takes place

of the bathwater.

Alas, he is home.


Palmer Smith.

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