Once, I drowned. Once, I died for a minute in the arms of the octopus at the bottom of the lake.
This memory, this moment, seared. I’m wearing blue and white gingham with white eyelet fringe.
My bangs are crooked. My cousins laugh, say, "Ma cut yer bangs, huh?" It’s a family reunion.
Once the world came into focus. Once, my body was a different place. Somewhere inside me,
that lake is still alive with the octopus, reaching long arms from the bottom. It was
real and not real, but real. All of it, I know. I recognize each piece like a dream of a place
I've never been before. Spirits dance on cave walls, tell tales, fly from their pits and run free.
Lungs full of water, I sink down into Death's sunless undertow. I know nothing of fear, my body never learned it,
spun to perfection, blood diamond held tight in the silent, endless grip of my new best friend.
Christine Stephens-Krieger is a poet, painter, educator, and shamanic practitioner who's published poems and essays in many journals, most recently YES Poetry, Bitchn' Kitch, Dime Show Review, and an anthology, The PrePress Awards Vol II: Emerging Michigan Writers. She finished her MFA from WMU, and her new book, What a World, What a World: A Life in Poemsis currently seeking publication. She lives in Michigan with husband and cat.