Instructions for Breathing
by Bonnie Radcliffe
Go to the water.
Go to the water, it is waiting.
it isn’t waiting at all.
It will be here the same tomorrow without you, as it with you here today.
Still, today it is here and you are here.
Go into the cold
tiding, waves slapping, till you count,
three, let go.
Let go of the land.
Dive into sweet salt till the cold stings.
Suck in the clouds beneath the surface.
Mud and muck, sand and dust,
arms reflected on the underside,
Sides yawn, shoulders shiver down.
Cold claims you.
Let it take you to a place where you are small and strong.
Think of nothing but the cold,
the tight bite of it,
the silver line around your edges,
your outline of
You are impossible and you are alive and every inch of you is singing.