Bodies & Water

Bodies & Water


I think about my kneecaps, my ear canal, the slight webbing
between toes & fingers; I think about brown bodies, my
body; how my belly ebbs & sinks & floats & calms in
water; I think about black bodies, about statistics, how 65%
of black American children cannot swim; 60 for Latinx
children; 79 from low income families. How statistics hold
history in the sharp end of a tack; my brother & me thrown
out of swim lessons for causing trouble; limbs reach & tread,
lacking know-how; how a statistic takes a term like access,
wads it into a crumpled shape, in search of any receptacle
other than a docket; our cells contain wet & wombing
history of sea & salt in our nervous systems; our cells crave
water & in turn crave equity; no magic equation exists to
explain why what’s made of water wants water; no need. The
human body consists of organs & tissues & hydrogen &
calcium & sodium & chlorine & water & water & water &
water. Why must my water offend your water? Fuck your
count of my offensive features—labia, mustache, mammary
glands, black hair on my nipples, thoughts in my cranium,
uterus, hopes sewn in cerebrum, words readied at tongue—
you dominate narrative: a scratched record caught in
dilapidated loop, white noise that coats ammonia down my
throat to attempt erasure; history of attempts. You cannot
remove water from water, sea from sea.

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