The Way We Move through Water

— Lino Anunciacion

a drop of water
moves slowly
down the
shower wall

a black body
braces for impact
and then steps
into the rain

the way we move through water like
the captain
navigating grief:
unsure of how many bodies lie beneath us.

a glass of water
melts on the
kitchen table

a nervous hand
taps against
the wood

a mother’s eyes
never leave the door frame

the way water swims down black
bodies unsure of the
way to our roots

the way our mothers can smell a storm
from fifty miles       away

the way it rains both
bullets and       bodies
in america

our mothers
are the only
evacuation plan

their arms,
the only safety net
we’ve ever known

but what net
do you know
to be bulletproof

what arms can
withstand the on-
coming storm

our bodies
still smell like rain
and it is phenomenal

how the whole
house floods
when we don’t
come home

how the faucets
pour endlessly
between our mothers’
eyelids

how there is always
a broken pipe
of wind or of water

how some day
is the last day
we say our mothers’ name
how some day always comes
unpredictable as it may be.

the first shower
you take
after seeing
a dead body
will smell like sea salt and copper.

the third dead body
they wake up to
won’t wash
off for two days.

the way we move through water,
always unsure of when the sinking begins,
never quite ready for the abyss
when it comes.


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