Let us forgive the crushing diminishment
of our breath 
held too long cross-legged at the bottom
of the swimming pool
we pretended with our friends to drink tea
submerged wrists flicked to our lips
how our hair in that deep hovered strangely
open eyes overcome
with chlorine we did not belong
in that water
and let us forgive also
the situation of the snake
found in the garden coiled
around the base of a corn stalk how we loved
that damn reptile and named it
let us forgive ourselves
for forgetting that name
for poisoning and worse the thing’s body
with superglue forgive as we
forgive our widows
their secret relief
our mothers their glee


MRB Chelko

Annalisa BarronIn That Water (woodcut on paper)

In That Water was created in response to MRB Chelko's work by the poet's sister, artist Annalisa Barron. The piece is a hand-carved woodcut washed in chalk pigment.