Instructions for Drowning


Across my bare back are
The only remnants, now, that
One last bruise left, the faintly discolored skin, he
Doesn’t ask
But I can feel his eyes make their way across it
And then his fingers, tentative
But I am not here
For gentle hands
So I face him and grin
Wild, like a devil
I am feral, he says.
Later, I wake us both
With that nightmare I’ll never stop having, he
Puts his hands in my hair, he says, What happened to you,
So I roll toward him, I
Wrap my legs around him,
I say, I didn’t bring you here to care about me
And in the morning
I lock the door behind him when he leaves



Nina Szarka

Photo credit: Underwater Photography by Lane Coder

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