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by Sharmagne Leland-St. John 

I swim near summer shadows
glide over dappled shoals
keeping to the fluid shallows
reminiscent of the womb
where I learned to swallow
of tantalizing air
in the moist amniotic sac
where I shed scales
preferring skin and
hanks of auburn hair
upon my head
I dispensed
with fins and gills
grew hands and feet
with which to tread
and push away
from muddy banks
I've no desire to wallow
in the rushes
no human need
the thin sharp reeds
knot and tangle
cut and pierce
my derma layer
I can dance
below the surface
upon the rocky sand
I shall dangle near
the river bottom
suspended, floating free
like the embryo
I used to be.

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