In the kitchen, my mom is boiling maize.
Water's motion upward, away from the cadmium glow,
running until it spills over.
The silver glint from metal on the stove,
its flame contained in steel.
I remember the weekend at Horsehead Lake, how the water
was a mirror to half-broken shells pulled into the current,
taking life beneath waves. Sand browning blue,
I felt a stone pierce through my heel
with no remorse.
There was a girl who let her hand fall across her stomach,
the other hand sweeping a strand of hair.
She was watching me.
I wondered what she'd look like drowning.
Hair perfectly smooth, skin paling to blue,
body relaxed in falling.
Drifting to nothing.
I let the water pool around my calves, the waves leaving
sand where they touched.
It was the first time I saw a seagull take to air, watched waves
obey their boundary. I examined the lines on my palm,
and did not believe in God.
An old man cast his lure into the air and watched
as it fell into the blue, waiting for the suckling bluegill to bite,
knowing the sparkled rubber became a worm once it sunk.
In the kitchen, each kernel is warmed where it could have popped,
soft, buttered, and ready—confident that a mouth will hunger.
© 2007 prickofthespindle.com
Sarah Brook is a senior in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She plans on continuing to write while pursuing a masters in Community Counseling.