From In the Words Of the River
All words except title transcribed from garbage pulled out of the swimming hole in
Middle Pool, Where We Submerge Three Times Like the Mikvah
Let’s go to the water and get clean.
That slow cold current,
just before it all falls into the sea.
There. Let’s tip forward
and go under.
First time for the body: that chill,
that simple sport of returning to the skin.
Again for the mind.
You who decided to let yourself
be curious—let’s bypass thinking.
Let’s quit the facts for a while.
Let’s risk our leading brand sunlight,
our pasteurized chances of having it all,
to tip, to turn, to twist open
One more time
for that which is wild in each of us,
the simple particles of being
removed from the packaging
of thirst and hope.
After, you are clean as dishes.
Your skin sparkling cold.
Inside, what could be
a small window opening. No,
less than that. Light comes in
as if through a straw.
And what is this?
This small I’m sorry
in one palm. And
it was not you
in the other.
Say it to yourself. Say it
to your face, your throat—
I’m sorry—say it where it hurts.
Say it for your gentle hands
when you did not know
to be a fighter. For all the things
you could not say. Or,
calculating costs, did not.
Allez go! Get it in your eyes,
in your hair, on your all-possible skin.
Know this, breathe it, if only for these wet seconds.
Go under and under and under;
return again and again and again.
Break the seal on the brilliant verb of your body.