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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, October 11, 2017.
About this Poem 
“Lately I’ve found, and I’m probably not alone in this, that everything feels like a little battle. Since poetry is where I work out my concerns and fears, I’ve started placing what I see as everyday struggles—with family, history, finances, enforced hierarchies, the weight of the opinions of others, existing in a body—into a heightened, sometimes bordering on epic, framework. This poem is a small part of that undertaking.”
—Lisa Ciccarello
 

A water woman has no body

Emptiness is a blessing:
it can’t be owned if it doesn’t exist.
 
*
My father said to bloom but never fruit—
 
a small trickle 
eating its way through stone.
 
*
I am one kind of alive:
I see everything the water sees.
 
I told you a turn was going to come 
& turn the tower did.
 
What are the master’s tools 
but a way to dismantle him.
 
*
Who will replace the blood of my mother in me—
a cold spring rising.
 
She told me a woman made of water 
can never crack.
 
Of her defeat, she said
this is nothing.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Ciccarello. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 11, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Ciccarello. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 11, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Lisa Ciccarello

Lisa Ciccarello

Lisa Ciccarello is the author of At Night (Black Ocean Press, 2015). She lives in Portland, Oregon.

by this poet

poem

Here is how I control my heart: I string each thought one behind the next, like beads.

I wear the answers I am waiting to give. The jewelry becomes heavy as soil.

My long blink is a scream & a yes. There are things I have to say, but they do not yet know the questions they must ask. & a blink is