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POETRY / Evolution / Nancy Hightower


It begins with a stumble 
out of bed, hip twisted 
as if I wrestled God 
and lost, rather than ride the flood
and thunder of an earnest lover,
middle-age being a monster 
who howls for caffeine and eggs,
tries to read the future in 
wet coffee grounds. 
                        Every sin
a pulled muscle    cracked tooth    gray hair.

By noon I want a healing bath 
haunted by angels, a place to baptize
broken wings, untwist rivers
mapping hand and legs. 
Should my hips swivel 
clockwise and counterclockwise 
time itself would break, unravel 
back to when we wanted 
the thrill of drowning 
without dying, the maelstrom 
mislabeled love. Now I hold my breath 
longer than I should when submerged, 
knowing each passing year 
I am more riptide than storm.

Nancy Hightower has been published in The New York Quarterly, Spry, Heavy Feather Review, storySouth, Gargoyle, Sundog Lit, and Joyland. Her first collection of poetry, The Acolyte, was published in 2015 by Port Yonder Press.