I dreamed that I was with you in the water. It was after we talked; I knew what you were thinking like I heard you saying it.You swam to the middle of the lake and while you paddled you breathed out cloudy breaths and asked yourself how long it would take for sparks to make their sullen way across the surface to a swimming you. You wondered if when they got to you you’d make a face like it hurt. If you’d make a smell and if water can be burnt the way you know that paper can. You have seen a fish burn from the inside out, you swear it.It’s not the water, I wanted to say. The water can’t hold anything that moves the way sparks do. The metal things in water form a path to move across. Like us, floating big or small and mixed in together but somehow not dissolved. You and me. They call us imperfections.I pictured you marbled, like meat. Still on its bones, the way you never like to eat it. Will they say your name to you, I ask. Will they tell you what grade cut you are; will they call for you to hush, if you whimper and I’m not there to make you stop?What will they tell you that I could not; what will there be for you but cruel hands feeding sparks into the metal plates you bite, the clamping tongues that pinch and stick to you, your mounds of folded skin and shocks that they say help you live?
(what you have done) on cummings’s (me up at does)
what you have done
where exit is the wound
spine too crushed
back blood broken
imagine one a grandfather, to smack
flying, paid for you while others
flit about in buzz, and always
do the same
Kira Geiger is an English teacher with an MFA from Florida Atlantic University.