Lost softness softly makes a trap for us.
Michael’s skin splinters below the water’s line, his navel and all murky and lost
like a city from my old life, or that scarf I’d loved, the softness
with which we sink into what disappears, and the country of his groin and knees so softly
already blackened. His sister snores below my hands. Her mouth makes
tadpoles. Her breath wet from chemotherapy, I’ve massaged her a-
sleep. Her shoulders swell their small tides. The air burns leaves. I want to want to trap
her sighs, dividing the stillness, in glass, to a Mason jar: breath like smoke against a window—: for
this man halved by water. But we sit in sun and grit, watch the waves which lose us.
From For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Sasha Pimentel. Used with permission from Beacon Press.