Last night I married a friend I hadn’t seen in years,
one who decided to end his life at his mother’s house.
When I had first heard,
I remember thinking how
as in how could a man so tall find a beam tall enough
his toes fanning the floor, slanted
like the y at the end of madly
He was wealthy and I still loved him and
I woke from the suburban parking lot sea, the Kmart where we once spread a blanket and kissed against a truck horn chorus.
I am telling you all this because I am overcoming my fear of open water swimming.
It’s a mad place, ebbing and lacking. unknown things on the bottom bubble again,
And I am a microscopic dot on the map, a pixel of black in blue, an opposite of ocean, dense as hell, the drift at the end of rope.
Between tows your back
full of blood and salt, paddles further away.
You count one and then two.
I’m holding onto a beam
Our bodies are ships that replace themselves
Plank by piece
And I’m told philosophy asks
Whether after all this, the ship is still the same
I feel you grab my toes for a laugh.
my toes kick you off, kick me up,
And kick this all up again
It nibbles at my feet it eats me all this
An obvious dream of ocean and death and love and ocean
Of replicate ships broken and never made whole
Kimberly Prijatel lives in Ohio. When she was 5, she bit the mailman.