Shark

I swam to the bottom of a shallow end
and hit my head.

When I bleed you can see it
rise up red in the water.
Like a shark, you’ll swim toward the loss.

Who is stronger,
the predator or the prey?

You may feed on me but know
that after it is done,
you will still be
hungry.

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Sublimation

“This snow is all going to turn to mud,” she says.

We’re walking in it and I keep wishing for spring.

She’s reminding me of the part in between,

how things must melt and flood before

anything will grow.

 
Lately, I’ve felt the flood in me,

flashed feelings

drowning out the circuit breakers

of my brain.

My heart muddied,

I am stuck in place.

The ground sinks and each movement

becomes treacherous.

 
Lately, I’d rather hide under ice than

find what’s underneath.

I am afraid of the rush of what I can’t control.

I am afraid of the rotting at the roots of things

before they even begin.
 

“Aren’t you looking forward to spring?” I ask her, walking faster, against the cold wind.

“Yes, but it will get cold again first, she says, “Why rush what will come anyway?”
 

And I think it’s her youth

that makes her think the sun

is an inevitable thing,

that warmth always returns.

I am older and I don’t rely on much

coming back anymore.
 

But I know I can no longer fear

the in-between.

The changing of things.

The uncertainty.

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Drowning the witch

I never knew what they were so afraid of,
But whatever it was
They saw it in me.

They threw me in the river to see if I would sink.
They tied up my hands so I could not swim.

I’d given up on this town already.
My feeling was gone,
My vision was heavy.

Fear is a funny thing.
Sometimes, those who are most afraid are the ones
we should fear the most.
This is what went through my head,
before they threw me in.
This is what I thought before I gave in to the water
and could no longer breathe.

All the spells I wish I knew,
The fire I wish I could conjure up,
To weed out all the whispers in the houses that would
bring me to this.

I thought there was fight left in me.
But nothing is worse than the feeling of drowning.
All you thought you could have been,
all you are,
flashes of life being put out by an unstoppable current,
filling up your lungs,
flooding out your heart.

They will say you’re evil if you float,
And you remember floating in a lake once and how,
it was the best feeling of your life,
looking up at the sky and forgetting.

But you can’t float when you’re tied down.
The last big surprise is the sack they put over your head,
right before you’re thrown in.

Much later,
You will float to the surface to remind them
of the certainty
of your innocence.

Your soul will shake free, angry, through the trees.
You will look down and see
that they won’t remember.

I never knew what they were so afraid of,
But whatever it was
They saw it in me.

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Evisceration

I could teach you how to love,

But everyone knows you only learn what you want.

You could teach me how to get,

But everyone knows I am not good at keeping.

 
I’ve lost from all I’ve given.

But all there is

is what is left in front of me,

squirming in my clasped hands,

like a startled creature ripped from the sea,

gasping.

 
I can now feel,

the punctured valves

of my soft heart,

finally taken out,

for everyone

to see.

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Spring Cleaning

imagesCleaning out a cabinet and the past comes up.

Found mini lotions and shampoos from places traveled to, lived in, passed through.

Found shaving cream cans of an ex’s, found makeup from time out West, when I tried to be glamorous, found medication bottles from periods of bad health and pain, in between there and here.

Mini toiletries given as gifts from friends no longer trusted.

So much in a cabinet.

Stories of gain, performance, loss, past selves, survival.  Perfumed smells of time now gone.  Colored tubes of different women I once was or once tried to be.

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Safe

girl on bed

Here’s what they never tell you,

In those stories you are read, before bed,

Even after the closet is checked for monsters,

The light is turned on in the hall,

And you are tucked in so you feel the world outside may be infinite

but it couldn’t be that insane.

 

Here’s what they never tell you,

About the one day you will wake up and wonder,

how the monsters in the closet could have ever scared you,

when the world outside is so infinite and so insane,

And in your brain there are more frightening things

than Hollywood can convey.

 

And the bottom will feel like it

is always falling out,

And you will wish you had any bed to hold on to,

to look under, to hide in.

And when all that infinite feels like it is eating you alive,

And all you can do is cry,

You will hope for a light to turn on outside,

in any hallway you can find

to run through.

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Knowing

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Now I know

how I can’t know you.

 

You act like no one can know

anyone,

but deep down I know,

you don’t believe this.

But see, I do.

I do, I do, I do.

That thing I’ve never

been asked to say,

That thing you remind me,

all the time,

I’ll never be.

 

Just because

of what I know.

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