Learning to Swim
Every woman should know how to swim,
so she can navigate the treachery of land;
the currents and riptides dragging her back
to the crossroads of youth, paths never taken,
the waxing and waning longing of streets.
We stand in a line, at the tiled edge of shamelessness,
detached from the world, its purses and earrings,
the tightly woven reins of mother and daughter.
Immersed in this warm, cocooned womb, we imagine
navigating by stars, charting the progress of gulls,
tasting ten types of rain, everything we might need,
before meeting the sea, its tangle of driftwood
and salt, fishbones and rope, our proper element