Do I have air conditioning, they ask,
those kind souls who concern themselves
about an elder living all alone.

They check by phone, or else they’d see
and know the sad condition of our air,
the panting dog, the wilted cat, and me.
I’m quite okay, I say, but isn’t this
heat horrible!  It’s the humidity, they say,

and soon we’re all back to our own
miserabilities.  How shall we breathe in air
oppressive as a giant leaden ceiling hanging
low but just above us, threatening to crush?

I feel quite lucky for the presence
of a plugged-in, oscillating fan
creating breezes, phony yet exhilarating
as the constant waving of great palm fronds
by devoted slaves.  Lucky to stay still

here, in my favorite chair, nursing theories
of irreversibility, thermodynamics,
chaos, energy dispersal, entropy, disorder
and, of course, a nice, cold G & T.

Air is conditioned in so many ways.
This room’s heat is giving up
some of itself to tepify the breeze
as ice gives of its own to cool things off.
Ice cubes melt.  The room stays hot.

My drink sweats, growing warmer,
weaker all the time.  The only zest
lives in a lonely, floating wedge of lime.

12 responses »

  1. Another enjoyable poem from you, Cynthia: wryly humorous, playfully thoughtful, skilfully crafted. I like the sidestep from physics to G&T!
    I can’t stop myself looking for the underlying form in poems, and I notice the stanza lengths here (3,5,4,5,4,5,3 lines) and the regular length of the lines. So I conclude that the G&T is successfully holding back the entropy – and long may it do so.

  2. Hi Cynthia,
    I loved your whimsical poem and its tribute to my favorite drink G&T and to our entropic state of doing nothing , incapacitated by the humidity with malfunctioning air conditioners and dreams of being home, not working, in my central air conditioned condo. Bravo! I’m tasting the G&T now if only in my imagination. Eileen

  3. Hello Cynthia ,l felt so relaxed once l remembered the years l lived in Chicago without air condition.,at the same time l was reading about the lethal blazing heat waves in India ,2/3 of India have no A.C.,hundreds of people are hurting..,today we live we live in California and have central air condition. My regards.Jalal

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