Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Rise

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Rise

Article excerpt

While sleeping we do not rise

but press one foot deeper. We press

our ears against each other and breathe

only as we live. When we don't, we press

ears against the water. We pole through

mangrove until we get to open

sea. The sea will be taking us.

We fish among birds. We follow crowds

not one solitary motion.

The little boat rocks and we rock

with it. Sand gets in the water.

The sun goes out like a fleck

in a fingernail. Nate covers his eyes

with his mother's hair and cries.

He won't look up and he's too heavy

to hold. Is it the birds or the line

that fell behind us that scares him?

His mother says it's never

been like this.

Flies land in his mother's hair

and spit. Some are born

in a ruck, some in a dimple.

A surface is all that's needed.

Say the flies came toward us

when we shook. Say they clung to us

and staying still made them

go away. …

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