We dipped our toes into the cold water,

let parts of our bodies disappear.


The way one thing leads to another.

We slipped in more of our bodies—our feet,


ankles, legs up to the knee, our thighs.

It wasn’t enough anymore to stand on the wharf


and look out at the canal. I don’t know

how or when we started to play dead.


In minutes, we both lay on the coast,

allowed the tide to wash over our bodies.


We knew no feelings for which water

was a metaphor, but we believed whatever


we rehearsed was about something

being given, then given back.


Nicholas Molbert lives and writes in Central Illinois and has work published in American Literary Review, Fjords Review, Missouri Review, and Ninth Letter, among others.

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