Swimming up through ages of lakes
and dragged out drenched and sobbing,
scratching free of hands that tug and hold and grasp and I am gasping
for water. Drown me down again.
Unwatched, unwanted, underwater,
allow me my iterations.
Let the well give pieces of itself
to be drawn up helpless and bare
before the sun—
I want no part of this unearthing.
I invoke myself, voiceless and choking.
I claim my name and swallow it,
seek refuge in shadowed depths,
home in the dark with the eyeless.
But here they want us,
devout and devoured
brought hungry to the throat of longing.
They have no right to our desperation.
I try, I swear, I try
to free us, bleed us, wash us all away.
The water closes overhead, and still,
you are reaching out your hands.
Riam Griswold is an editor and writer of fiction and poetry. Their work has been published in Levee Magazine, Red Rock Review, Book XI, and FIVE:2:ONE, and they currently live in Tucson, Arizona.