Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Because it is too hot, I wonder instead
what it would be to tether my wrists
to the diver, to be dragged along

for the ride, to be left in a sandy bed, to be tangled
in the crazy resolve of discarded nets
and weathered boats. I wonder what it would take
for night to come. This is how I hope to die.

I want nothing of the heavy look inside my grandmother’s eye
when she grasps for the smallest word, repeats it
like a trained bird, and shuffles her hands

because she is too tired to wring them right.
Or when her eyes go wide and the nurses part
her lips, insert fresh tubes. I want nothing of those

days spent walking down the street and that salty taste
rubbed along my lips. I am tracing my wrists, looking

for a rope. I am asking the man
anchoring his boat to help me.

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