12 January, 2021
With my arms clasped across my chest,
wrist atop wrist
bitten fingers emboss bloodied half-moons onto crisscrossed palms.
I try to achieve buoyancy,
name this practice
conquering over the
A man passes by, smile reaching all the way to his gentle eyes
and asks me if I know that I’m signing the word love,
did I know that?
And I will admit I didn’t.
When I was learning to swim my teacher
tried to teach me the dead man’s float was the only chance for whole survival
but I could not unclasp my arms
even when she told me that in the water,
the weight of my fists would drive into my sternum and sink me deeper.
How can I name everything holy but religion itself
These fists are sacred weapons,
the soothing balm of controlling yourself and yourself alone.
A stoic face can still smile wide.