Bath Science


I was out of paper but

I had just wanted to be


like a normal person even though

I have no patience and

yes, I peered into

the cabinet

that was making, I thought,

a watery sound

that uncurled like cold

and exploded up my body

until my body knew and cracked

back to the cracking world of

her always-open mouth

not understanding,

her arms jerking for solid and

her caught-animal eyes

searching for me

past that half inch of water


and I can tell you from this present—

the sound that came from my chest


was not human or

I was not in Time.

I was stilled, by her baby-ness


I took—

her face

stabbing at the little dip,

that science-class truth—

my kid was drowning and I took Time,


to envision that bubble


hanging the tub’s length, bowing

(just like that watching weapon)

to think: just beneath.

I filled and cleared

in no time what

was only one half inch but

I now understand time and space.

It was as if I’d left her for

another country, another life.


When I grabbed her against me,

my pants around my knees,

             her skinny skin

against my chest that feeds her,


I considered the little things:


they make us. They forgive us.

 

I had just wanted to go

without someone little

             watching, waiting—

now I can’t stop thinking

about her flailing—

my Me Me Me in my head

(of every darkness)

(for another too-long moment)

(that I felt in my chest)

(that was cold itself)

(was my body)

(my nothing self)

that self called Her,

just under,

sputtering,

finding only flailing,

thrashing in utter

searching for the only way

past what can kill any human

             but—

as the past is passing—

the thing that strangely lifted

             those seconds

was completely human.

I was outside of Time. Stilled, yes,

by the strange moments I

             didn’t have but somehow

am still in:

just beneath the water,

the elusive meniscus,

so stressed

my kid is Drowning and yet I take

             Time

to take in the lazy, quivering

             curve

(even in such war?)

over her filling mouth—

that much water is all it takes.

The soundless space between us

is a century,

is something so wide

they are the same.

Where all evolution’s crumbled,

or maybe all there, but not

             enough,

but not enough

forever undriable,


she is all naked coughing limbs

             and sticks of fear.

Oh, how the little things kill us

             but

are slumped we’re there.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked