If the river is pushing us under
and the jacket he gave me
has saved the beating in my chest
as faintly whispered alarm bells,
friends who will come running,
his kiss of life, our shelter
under the tree he planted with
not one night to face fear alone-
then this life vest is his to wear.
Will you unwrap the arms
you don’t feel anymore
and lift my head off your chest.
Undo my cowardice in an old-fashioned way
for the pull of the river does not set
the swimmer apart from the drowning.
The water forgives itself flowing under the bridge.
Until I hear the bells that toll
the victory of heaven and hell borne,
this stream will kindly bury me in its mud.
It will keep me, it will heal me. And I’ll swim again.
A spot of disbelief on this blinding reflection, its current strong.