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a girl sits on a pier


hazel tkach

a girl sits on a pier.
there’s no running from what is.
she wonders if she’s ever touched the same droplet twice.
she sighs. so does the water.
she thinks of christmas, of harsh winds on the cedars.
she thinks of the rising tide, the trees covered in water.
melt. meditate on melt.
she imagines the fall. the crash of water.
if she fell off a bridge in her grandmother’s car,
could she get the window open? she should really buy one of
those glass-breakers.
there’s no running from what is.
she imagines being underwater. the ache of her lungs.
she imagines her ribcage spilling open
and her childhood fish swimming through her veins.
she imagines boys underwater, she imagines kissing underwater--
like in percy jackson. will anyone ever be as lovely as percy jackson?
the tide sings her lullabies--or well.
she sings to the tide.
what’s god but the ocean? what’s jesus to the bay?
is the holy spirit the rivers? or is the water far more real? closer to real?
feet in the water.
bubbles like prayers. popped like dreams.
she’s ridiculous. she still wishes on pebbles and first stars.
she still cried when her fish died.
is to drown to struggle or to give in?
what were her uncles last thoughts as he choked on his greatest love,
the water?
(are you allowed to ask this sort of thing in a poem?)
perhaps this is her prayer for giveness.
she does what she always wanted to do//
she slips into the water like a dress//
follows the moons’ soft curve to another shore//
though grandfather warned nevermore
should girls with thin pale legs
swim in water like darkened glass//
but alas.
a girl was on a pier.
she is somewhere else now.
that is every version of the story.

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