the 100m butterfly call room

Purgatory, is what I’d call it,

Somewhere beautiful yet desolate, a blue

That could require a pair of shades to take

Away the edge, the brutal feeling that

We’re on the edge, tilting dangerously

Towards the great unknown, and swimmer’s arms

Swinging manically, their quiet singing

As they listen through their Beats, wanting

To be sick, to run, to enter through the jaws of Hell,

But they will have no choice, but to walk the other way,

Out into the light, where spirits weight,

Lenses of their eyes zoom in and we must strip away

Our tracksuits like those butterflies emerging

From cocoons, fluttering our wings or flags.

But butterflies don’t race, they dance,

And we will swim until our lungs are burning with

That enduring need to win, to know we’re loved

And in that call room we are shaken to our core

With an awful uncertainty, stay or go

That’s the dilemma that the swimmer meets.