float, 5 minutes

soak your body in salt
to reverse its course:

while you are dreaming
does time flow fast or flow slow;

can you decipher your currents
from the ocean’s own;

I’m wavelengths away
~~~barely~~~
a profession muffled
an underwater echo;

if you succumb to the depths,
do you think you could hear me?

splices

She was waiting, but she didn’t know for what. She was aware only of her solitude, and of the penetrating cold, and of a greater weight in the region of her heart. -Albert Camus

you say when the Cold War ended,
I was born
and stole its place.

I thrusted out, with such certainty
that it was me —
and you felt

the Wall build in your heart,
at the time a faint murmur
you’d hide from all your enemies
and doctors.

you’d pause
hands to knees
heaving at the concrete
all your mates would wait up,
but you were proud and told them not to;

Mom said you had asthma, you refused treatment,
bragging how someday you’d outgrow
it and beat the odds.

sometimes a sharp pain in the back
interrupts
my tea steeping or reading

and there you are,
pounding on your chest
the storm up your throat —

I try to stomp it out,
fire to ash,
I need relief.

yet when I stand too close
to the edges of the bridges
fill the tub too high or
drive with nowhere to go

the pain kicks back
before infliction
as if to say,

“be good,
you’re still alive.
stay lucky.”