She Swims The Night

by Renwick Berchild

She swims the night; the street is her sea. The street is her wave,
that clashes and eats at her tired soles. Unmarried women
don’t walk alone, so she dares it – whispers, Come on, breathy anxious
with wheels going round in her inner life. The troglodytes remain
shut up in their homes, rectangular mirrors smiling in their eyes.

The air, it’s fear, as the empty world supersedes the desire to be free;
open prairies leave room for attack, she craves, salivates
for the cave, for the safety of a chair and desk and walls and padlock
on the door. But here she is, walking, cold in her coat. What
does it mean? Will her heart reach mass velocity and her knees

buckle? In the dark, that’s where sorrow sits. In the sorrow,
that’s where courage sits. She wants valor. Her hands tucked in
her armpits but she yearns for valor, and her skirt tosses its leaves
in a wind that reminds her with a tickle of the sweet apple she carries
and how men will kill to get a lick of it; knowing all cruelty

is greedy, but not her bravery – not her bravery. Her bravery gives all.
She imagines herself a hero for strolling the 3 a.m. hour alone.
Her neighborhood houses loom as giants, with pinched faces and
oaken bough fingers, leavened by the billows, swelled to unnatural size;
that’s her in the moment: bigger now than when she first laid. Rising.


2 Comments to “She Swims The Night”

  1. Loved this.Its an articulate expression of the fear and the strength weaved together.

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