An Explanation of Drowning

by Hannah


God saw fit to birth you into a place
Where the dirt is embarrassed of itself.
This is the cleanest towel I could find.
I'm happy, I rejoice at the one place                                          
Under your hair-wisp, over your soft-spot
Where the air hasn't touched you, where you're pure.


My own mother had been healed by water.
She dangled herself over the river
To separate gout from fat, her face-cheeks
>From years of caked grease and old history.
I sat, chubbed, already coated by the world,
Clutching something.  My hindbrain reminds me:
A handful of sod, rotten leaves.  As she
Dipped herself in the quick, bare feet to rocks,
I followed a reflex:  hand to open mouth.
The last gleanable image:  her, naked,
So close to freedom to inspire a child
To worship in her small way:  avert eyes,
Close pink maw of decomposing poison.
Remain in place for the rescuers, for
The surprise of the drowned body, for home.                                    


I'd really like to say nothing at all.
You remember.  You floated in water
I found for you and closeted within
Myself.  We began knowing everything.
I'd like to say that I believe in love,
In the weight of future into new flesh,
But even now, I see you see:  sallow
Becomes sorrow, sorrow becomes rot, rot
Lies flat on the dark floor of the forest,
And smooths itself into nothing better
Than an encouragement for trees to grow.
You won't find a better shade than water
For our shared shame, for our apology.
A last regret:  this isn't the cleanest
Towel, but it is the most absorbent.
I promise: you, with your senses still in
The aftershock of a warm gestation,                                            
Will glean the full glory of the return
To the womb, to the underwater breath.