Table of Contents



Deborah Flanagan

for learning to swim.                                                                                       
In the shower                                                                                                  
there is no danger.  
She swims lightly
to avoid the undertow
of her past.  The body
fills with salt.  Water takes
the shape of the vessel. 
If the boat capsizes
she will dive down, get it over with.
A thimbleful just covers
her ankles.  Stepping out,
she touches a poorly grounded electric fan.

A rain-filled suitcase
fills with starfish,
anemones, brine light.






Several things prompted this poem. An article in The New Yorker [here], Thomas Merton's death, a photography exhibit at the Whitney Museum (unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember the name of the artist), and Kathryn Harrison's novel, The Binding Chair.