imagine your heart is just a ball you learned to dribble up and down the length of your driveway back home. slow down control it. plant your feet in the soft blue of your mat and release it is hard but slowly you are unlearning the shallow pant of your childhood. extend your body—do not reach for someone but something fixed and fleshless and certain— fold flatten then lift your head like a cobra sure of the sun waiting and ready to caress the chill from its scales. inhale—try not to remember how desperate you’ve been for touch—yes ignore it—that hitch of your heart you got from mornings you woke to find momma hysterical or gone. try to give up the certainty she’d never return recall only the return and not its coldness. imagine her arms wide to receive you imagine you are not a thing that needs escaping. it is hard and though at times you are sure you will always be the abandoned girl trying to abandon herself push up arch deep into your back exhale and remember— when it is too late to pray the end of the flood we pray instead to survive it.