floodplain

by Patrycja Humienik

it isn’t that the flood rids us of memory,
no. it shapes memory

a clay to knead like dough, cracks
our knuckles. across the atlantic

my aunts and uncles rise early
for the blessing later.

anoint tired, thirsty skin with oil
after a day’s work. that’s elegance to me.

drought or torrent, someone works
the land. someone picks fruit

i know the name of, along the pacific.
do you ever wish to stay

in bed for days? touch
a deluge, eroding

structure, toppling
every monument. who built all this?

capacity for violence
held. to try to contain anything

is to rid it of water. admit that
the water is rising

Patrycja Humienik, daughter of Polish immigrants, is a writer and performer based in Seattle, Washington. She serves as an assistant poetry editor for Newfound and events director with The Seventh Wave. Her poetry is featured/forthcoming in Passages North, BOAAT Journal, Poetry Northwest, Hobart, Four Way Review, Sporklet, and elsewhere. Find Patrycja on Twitter @jej_sen.

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