Christine Boyka Kluge
Too many bodies
churn the cloudy water.
They wriggle by,
marble eyes wide,
aswirl like curdled cream.
Elbows and knees slide past,
sallow eels,
waxy skin aglow
with gold inclusions.

Lightning fractures
the liquid ceiling,
lighting our faces acid green.
We tumble together,
lost swimmers scoured
from storm-stirred caves,
straining toward
the remains of light.
It only falls
in cold and crooked blades;
bronze pockmarks
scar the water.

As the waves subside,
our hearts pull us down
like stones.
We're afraid to let our feet
touch bottom,
more afraid to raise our heads
to be reborn in a city
of smoke and dust.

The muffled sirens call.
We have only each other's arms
for comfort,
such pale entangled tentacles.
Before we trust the shore,
we must learn to breathe
these shadows
through our wounds,
these cuts
that open and close
with the scarlet phosphorescence
of gills.


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