by Alannah Young

Pulled taut, the silken surface of the Seine comes
to kiss my toes, recedes, and comes again;
moves around my feet but swathes to meet
the mellow rain. My skin understands: what must
stay in, stays in. Like a tongue held hostage
in foreign terrain. Words taught falter and sounds wane.
When water falls on a body, it does not soak in. The mind
of the body is still the same, but the words it contained
are swallowed by waves. The body of water that
enveloped my phrase undulates and sends more swells;
perhaps the words went down well. The tongue
embraces the ways of the rain. Syllables cascade
from wavering lips; the embers of words:
“You will find your voice,” remembers the Seine.