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Soft Water— A Poem


Soft Water

I’m not the same sort of soft

as these other women but I am

mostly softness, underneath

my swords, my standards,

my peace of mind. My softness

nothing like a puddle

or a flood. It will not spill

over onto you, won’t hit you

like a tidal wave.

It’s a round soft thing,

like a planet,

like the way the Earth

just sits there,

a warm blue against

the infinite void, held there.

I’m holding you there like I held

every tense thing

in my jaw until I remembered

to breathe through it

and that’s how I became an ocean.

I’m more sea than creature.

I’m wet and warm

and cold

and terrifying.

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