Astrid Korporaal — "If all else fails", 2020

If all else fails
There will be the water
that seeps through my waking hours
darkening the edges of limbs,
muddying what you say a body should be

I will make myself a landscape to sink in to
The dotted lines of wise decisions
dropping suddenly and in broad daylight
into an embarrassment of deep, curving ripples

I will remember the scent of metal, chlorine and ammonia
are not just dreams of cages and tanks
but the flavors of earth and piss
The warmth of souls evaporating

I will call all songbirds back to me
and claim a version of sanity
that does not spiral into two

I will send the fire of the mirrored sun
Down to a heart submerged, like drowning cheek
into the furs of an animal

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