Water scares me most of all, the ocean faceless mother source of cells and maw of monsters waiting to reclaim. Do not drop my body there, to swell and drown, bloat white and smooth crabs crawling from a flaccid mouth open under jellied eyes green mermaid hair and dark holes home for arthropodic scuttlers. Give my body to the fire, the furnace flames can carbonize this flesh to dust. As ash return my atoms to the earth, to moss and cedars, shady places under mountains over streams. There will water find me, mist and moisture carry dust down nodding fernbanks to the creeks and then the rivers, then will I flow gently into god, that ocean. And what of air, fourth element breath expiring over empty pages. Burn the paper with me smoke will be my last breath. Fire to air to ash to earth to mist to river to ocean finally claims me.
I dress myself in cool evaporation clinging white cotton wet flower petal skirt bare feet leaving footprints that shine flash then sublimate. Droplets meandering cool trails on flesh tracing planes of my face fogging glasses and ears. Breath expiration releasing undressing reflections dot-trickle tickle long down my arm. Wisp cloud of modesty flirts and flees swift-blown a moving veil falls across a bright half-turned face. My body licked clean by the rain.
Wren Donovan’s poetry appears or is upcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Harpy Hybrid Review, Honeyfire, Hecate Anthology, and elsewhere. Her piece Trivia placed second in Emerge’s recent prose poetry contest. She studied at Millsaps College, Chapel Hill, and Southern Mississippi. Wren lives in Tennessee and lurks on twitter @WrenDonovan.