My hands that snatch and swat go numb.

These hands have never known how to touch.

Goodbye to them. No great loss.

My legs are the next to go. A steel-edged secret

nestled between femur and kneecap

pulls me under.

These legs have walked falsely

where they should never have wanted to tread,

easy as untruth tumbles off a tongue.

Never let the words that mattered

leave the safe, dark place where they were locked.

Never spoken bravely

when muteness was the softer path.

Better to evaporate, to wake anew, maybe,

by an ocean that murmurs to the sky,

a place where nobody has ever gone wrong.


A hush sweeps over the reeds.

True, my own feet bore me here,

waded down to the mud,

but the catty rushes snared me, yes, made me stumble

and the current sank me sure as shackles do.

When my body surrenders and drowns,

don’t remember me.


The weary water bucks underfoot—

the gasp and fall of lost balance, but forever,

fathoms too deep to ever return.

So many words choked down

before breath could come to them.

Should have told you long ago

But can you hear me now

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.