“Only Water” published in Seiche ways, limited edition chapbook for FLOW
This poem was written for a collection of ten poems collected from poets all over Michigan, celebrating water and published for FLOW’s annual recognition event.
How do I explain this?
Something kestrel-like and light, yet
doused. He wanted us to rise as kites, fall like rain.
How do I explain him wading in
to his thighs, me following
to my chest, him lacing his fingers,
me facing him, me stepping into that net
of his hands, grabbing his shoulders,
him sinking a little, rocking
a little, raising me up, up, momentum
taking me on, his muscled oomph
as he lifted me clear out, upup
over his head, almost lightly, he threw
me, sent me into flight, jewels and pearls
falling off me like a torn gown,
then me hitting the wet surface, and all
those colors springing rising lifting again
into the waves of me.
Teaching you to fly, he said as he spun
to lift me from my own splash. I cried.
at the immensity of it.
You’ll float upward, he said.
Hold your breath, your body’s really light.
It didn’t feel that way to me.
Then the second time, it did.
How to explain I learned to fall
wildly, deeply into a lake of being.
then the way I rose up again, rising
like a saint ascending, that buoyance,
weightless, wet and untethered.
Only water could do that,
set you free from weight,
only the weight of water could
return you to your mother’s womb,
but a cold and fierce one. Only clean
and fresh water could resurrect,
make you new
and ready for miracles.