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  • Hannah Hinsch

Slanted Rain: A Prose Poem

Fish flash slender and fine beneath the skin of water as they make their homes there in that fluid space, that sliding, dark space that feels like drowning but is really a new kind of breathing through the gills rather than the cavity of the chest, pink and caked with tar, where each breath is effort.

In this new kind of breathing, here, at the deepest part, the diaphragm stretches and in one long drawn inhalation I am filled with breath, pneuma, spirit water that is made of the same stuff as me--water and salt, blood and longing, longing to be a part of some other body, perhaps one more broken.

How wonderful to be who I am—made of brine and the stuff of rain, breakable as a stem of glass yet upright, always leaning into something, like slanted rain that falls into sea and mixes saltwater and fresh, the polluted ozone-tear that slides from land and burns where it falls. A tear, perfect and whole, falls from the bruised face, bruised sky, and comes to rest on the still cradle of water, a new place to dwell, a new body that somehow holds the other.

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