The taste of salty sweat
leaks onto dry lips.
The paddle pushes
against sore, red
calluses that burn
at a constant pace.
A wind blows that
leaves you shivering
for one second,
the water meant
to keep you cool
makes you shudder
and freeze,
but you are quickly
too hot again and
your shirt sticks to
your sunburned back.
Your eyes squint
from the malice
of the high sun.
You want to scratch.
You would do anything to scratch.
But you must keep paddling.
Your stomach muscles protest
and you move the lake with
a piece of wood.
Soft water sprays
your face.
You breathe in
the scent of purity.
You wouldn't
want to be anywhere
but nowhere.