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In Utero

In this soft-celled aquarium
you swim, dolphin-like,
turning over and over
in this sea not so vast,
but contained, dark,
like a pool at the back
of a deep cave,
where water drips
from stalactites of longing
and fear, a pure, potent brew
that makes your home for now.

Sport, sweet plaything,
while you have the chance.
I never grow tired of feeling
the flip of your kick,
the muscular shudder.
A long time ago,
we all spent our lives in water,
buoyed up by its salt,
took our breaths through gills.
The mystery is why we ever left.
And so it is fitting
that we all begin here
in this fluid darkness,
turning over and over.

{“In Utero” originally appeared in Peregrine, Vol. 23, 2005, and is included in the chapbook Falling Dreams, Finishing Line Press, 2006}