- Emma Grabowski
I put water in my bones for a boy from the river,
but his bed ran deeper than I could wade,
and the water in my bones
that I put there for him!
weighed me down and kept me from the surface,
turning me along the bottom to smooth me like a pebble,
but my skin was soft and ripped on the rocks
which, unsatisfied, tore out my nails when I clawed for the shore.
At the end of the river, with my face above the water
once more, I found that the water had overflowed
to my lungs and left me with no room for air.
I cried to the Lord,
“Dry me out!”
Murky and lost, I cast my eyes to the side
to see the end of the river that I thought I had met
was no end. Water tapered into grainy estuaries,
and I found a will previously forgotten --
nearly wiped clear by the river -- and choking,
pulled my way through the mud with my elbows until I came to the beginning of the ocean.
My final pulls stretched me into the waves and led me
Salt cut off my river-skin until I was soft again,
then went through my old tears and rips
and into my bones --
the deeper I swam, the lighter I felt.