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A History of Drowning, 1

Carrie Olivia Adams

This is the moment before the sweep of shadow.
These are the fitted stones that carry you
until the clouds shift and the gusts tear
the paper parcels in your arms.

This is before you have forgotten which way is east.
So, this is after you stopped on a bridge
by a statue to admire her hands.
And you turned your head to find yourself
in someone’s photograph, your body arched
across the stone base, pressing up.

There were more statues and stairs,
and jagged street-corner crossings,
but you moved without looking.

If you keep walking you will find the ocean
or a single wave
or the cusp of a shell.

There is a room in the attic with jointed anatomical models and dressmaker torsos.
You & the parcels may stay there.

Carrie Olivia Adams

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