Sometimes the human body is a grace, is a galaxy, is indeed
an ocean, a channel running rough between the shores
of eternity on either side. Sometimes determination
is a tide stronger than the current pulling back.
Sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes
you go under. Sometimes all the will
and wanting are swamped
by a greater wave.
sometimes the body
breaks through the undertow,
again and again, sets out again
against the current, even when the rest
you had hoped for is denied. One stroke at a time.
The hand cleaves the water. Reach and pull. Reach and pull
the body forward. You can swim through this night.
You can swim through this night. You can swim
through this night.
Caitlin Gildrien is a writer, graphic designer, and erstwhile farmer living at the feet of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Her work has appeared in the Hopper, Rattle, the Rumpus, Intima, and Rise Up Review.