morning swim

to breathe in my mother’s music I learned to push
even columns into the flute 

                          Sarabandes    Minuets    Gigues

danced & paused	         danced
to breathe inseparable

                         I dreamed her dream until I didn’t
                         and left

on virtual boardwalks toward a ridged horizon I click 
like & sigh: trees

                         cloister my view here, my heart
                         for distance

from my mother’s ear for sound and cadence
I learned to love	      our language

                         left it to breathe
                         in another

I push through
chlorinated water, pass

                         a hair and leaves
                         push, reach	  push—

the sun above
an incandescent net below



Burgi Zenhaeusern (she/her) is the author of the chapbook Behind Normalcy (CityLit Press, 2020), winner of the Harriss Poetry Prize. She co-edited the translations of the poetry anthology Knocking on the Door of the White House (Zozobra Publishing, 2017, J. Ballesteros et al. editor). Her poems appear in Seneca ReviewDiagramOversound, and elsewhere. Find her at and on twitter @burgi323.