During Watsu, I learn I didn’t die

During Watsu, I learn I didn’t die

During Watsu, I learn I didn’t die 1920 1120 Vismai Rao

Tearfall. Snowflake. Cloud— I dwell on water.
Float with the knowledge of most of my body

being water. The therapist’s torso
is pressed so close to me I’m no longer past

the soft age of two, the pool’s warmth, womb-like—
I dwell on how to be in two places at once

like rivers, how to occupy past & future
& present in the present—Ganges of the hills

one with Ganges of the plains. The therapist’s fingers
pluck my spine for music, her arms make a fishing net

of my shoulders: I’m breathless with hope
of catch—

Last winter, my feet leaned against a ledge that wouldn’t
let me go, the scent of tuberoses wafting in

from my balcony, the blessing of an amber sunset
in the west—With every turn of wind

the sand dunes of Thar change shape, how I imagine a mind
untangles with morning. A million versions of river

flee my limbs when I pull the knoll of my body
out of the pool’s warm lull. Bouncing off the topiary Buddha

in the lawn, my attention pauses at the shape of sun
through leaves. I know the center of the universe

ought to be here, its fleeting ghost body forever
skirting the periphery of my vision—


Header photograph by Larena Nellies-Ortiz.


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