They come to the water wearing the skins
of their previous lives. Each step toward
the horizon is a question.
Each dip of the head, a prayer, to forget
this life and remember, the way
Indian children remember
their previous incarnations, the names
of loved ones left behind,
to go back to the time when they were just
amoebas, entire ecosystems
in a single cell, floating,
without cause through the dark side of God’s
wildest dreams. Enter desire,
—the taste the light, as their bodies broke
surface, transformation midwifed
by the temptation to forsake a life without burden
for the burden of knowing,
more and more,
they must come to the water and wish
for redemption. Come to the water and drown
their unanswered prayers.
Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. When not writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi. Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, Bateau, and numerous other journals. Her novel Dying for a Living is available on Amazon as well as her short story, “Dive.” She’d love to hear from you on Facebook, G+, or Twitter.