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Drowning in sky

Drowning in sky

Drowning in sky

by Shannan Mann

I have observed, the theorist
I am, how when you are low
(and not like Ana’s lullabies
are always low, or the way
leaves fall low (or snow)
because where else would
they go but in the way all
men at one point or another
glance to the ground upon
divining the simple beauty
of ash, canaries, & rivers)
your eyes dilate a little
as if the black sea was
mined of its stingrays
& now melodizes
in as much as weeping
can be composed
into bars & cleffs
then cascaded into
the fishtank of your chest
(& by chest I mean a lake
of lilies that are your lost
loves & by love I mean
the smoke & fog blowing
through your gut & by gut
I mean how no one ever
means to feel the need
to hold something as small
as a baby in the space
between elbow & knee
but it comes on anyway
& who are we the small
people we are who we are
against everything the universe
needed when it exploded
into stars) which is not
made of glass but of gills
because how wonderful
to be able to contain
within yourself a part
of the sea not as imprisonment
but with the wild abandon
to swim out of yourself
& into me anytime you
need another galaxy
where eyes have renounced
their seas & the seas
their lotuses & lotuses
their love for land & land
the science of gravity
just enough to change
falling to floating
flame to ocean
pain to birds
words to this.

Shannan Mann is an Indian-Canadian writer, mother to a two year old daughter, and a full-time student. She has been awarded the Palette Love and Eros Prize, Foster Poetry Prize, and Peatsmoke Summer Contest. She was a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize, Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and Frontier Award for New Poets. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, Ocotillo Review, Strange Horizons, Humber Literary Review, Deadlands and elsewhere. You can find her here.

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