Wearing a Mask in Summertime
by Boutheina Boughnim Laarif

I wear the quilted pad,
Soft like a cherished napkin,
A snake’s second skin…
Encumbering like a medieval soldier’s plastron−

I can feel inhalation circulating,
Titillating my nostrils,
Sweat droplets are forming,
Not beads, too poetic for them!

No harangue for today,
A hundred herring fish are dancing
Underneath my mask…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Boutheina Boughnim Laarif has undertaken a Ph.D which proposes a postmodern approach to W. H. Auden’s poetry and metrical art (Faculty of Arts of Manouba, Tunisia) — published in 2020 by Cambridge Scholars under the title W.H. Auden’s “The Healing Fountain”: A Reading Inspired by A. Aviram’s Theory of Poetic Rhythm. A Lecturer of English literature, she has published articles that focus on philosophical, aesthetic theories of poetic rhythm, Nietzsche’s theory of the lyric, Heidegger’s philosophy of art and politics, among which, Rhythm Reconsidered: Philippe Lacoue Labarthe’s Musical Poetics of the Subject,was published in Harts and Minds electronic journal (2014).  Her first poetry collection, Fractal Reflections, was published in 2015. Her poems have appeared in the online weekly poetry journal Dystenium Journal, in the quarterly poetry journal The Cannon’s Mouth, and in several poetry anthologies.