Bathing

by Terese Mason Pierre

Terese Mason Pierre is a Toronto-based editor and writer of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

after Lucia Lorenzi
 
 
Today I put my body into a river,
upset to find I am only half stone.

I tried to live in a swamp once—
I love how everything was one colour

and the colour of my skin. Two things
out of place: the white sky, and all

the red birds that saunter airily like tourists.
Any vacation I take is the right one:

freshwater seems further from the centre,
my cellular history sees riches

in the sunlight fleeing the surface. My feet slip
and I think of grime and green water,

how many voices leave my lips,
how many times I copy civil dusk

for a community of hands and hips.
Distance sings a salve for the right skin,

and I want to turn my face to the dirt
that sloughs through time—

it is beyond me and any sweet foreign smell
that shrinks, threatens and exalts:

my brother’s hair, redolent fish,
a black varnish over all.


Terese Mason Pierre is a Toronto-based editor and writer of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

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