Jeanne Bryan

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for Arthur Rimbaud

I went to the waters

to annihilate myself,

to lose the steps of land

I no longer felt

with my octopus feet.

Deep I went, to darkness

of seas that tormented

and comforted me.

I did not want to rise.

Grave currents led me

to caverns of hanging weeds,

the measurement

of my soul.

I thought not of what

I left behind.

Undertows pulled me down

into the ink of my own

monstrous blood.

Once light slipped

through the slant of a wave.

It curled around me.

I felt myself caught,

caught in dreams

of what went before

my posture of desertion.

Yet I did not rise.

I had given myself

to the black edge of loss.