when i learned to breathe i asked
the stones for their permission.
a life is a body of water. i toss my lungs
back like eels. feet in the ocean.
i have been planning to run away for as long
as i can remember. i am a salt water fish.
my bones thin until all i need to open me is a man
sitting at the kitchen counter: his mallet & knife.
he's been waiting to see his reflection in my scales.
fists of water. putting a shell to his face
he finds it swallowed. smoothed elbows
& ancient tongues of the old water.