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2008

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Bathwater
Deb Powers

They say that if you turn up the fire
one degree at a time
a frog will happily boil,
attempt no escape even when
his skin starts to blister
and organs swell to bursting.

We are
soaking in bathwater
perfumed with
primrose promises
colored with yellow
and alert red confetti;

simmering in temperatures
inched from tepid to lukewarm to
scalding, our comfort zones
increasing with each fresh
edition of the morning news.
The body count rises
with the heat, and we are

losing our capacity to judge our own
danger, conditioned to the quickening
erosion of function, learning to
breathe a little faster
sleep a little lighter
raise our voices a little less
little by little by little

letting go for our own good
so that when the bath water boils

we won’t even know
that we’ve succumbed.