I must learn to breathe through my skin
for the river is amphibious. I must take
shoes and clothes off and leave them on
the bank for nakedness is water’s first
language. I must dive into my grief and
swim to the bottom of it where the dead
sleep. I must shake my mother awake
and ask her if dying is a forgetfulness.
And staying alive, also. But let us not
talk about unknowable things. What
does God know of me and what do I
know of him?
Heidi Garnett has won numerous literary prizes in Canada and abroad and was recently shortlisted for the Mitchell Prize. She is currently working on a third collection of poems and a novel.