across a bay, across two rivers,

James, Nasemond, the clinic

itself, a kind of harbor, the mermaid statue, a promise

to my kin, my kind; you can change, you can change.

To see the doc that will guide me into the river of myself,

already wet at the feet, 100 miles each way. Not too far.

It would be too far if I didn’t come. Everything is named after a patriot.

City ways hang with colonists.  It takes far too long

to cross the street. I think of how my name will sound

when the nurse calls me. I try to be patient. The first body

I crossed, the bay, like a wolf sleeping on its side, its fur calm and easy

as breathing is easy when joy is on your side.

Only dangerous things sleep in the open.

The Nasemond river passes under, the road, reinforced, hums

we are all subjects of the city,

we need bridges, how else will our bodies cross the water?

Passing is not allowed.

HRT is the acronym for the local transit. An omen?

No, a greeting, prophecy.

HRT will take you so far. My body will be a river

of different mothers. Where will the headwaters meet?

The answer is not an answer but a question, where do I begin

again to flow? The chorus answers by singing my name.

I have arrived. I sign my name the way I want to. A kind face

tells me to make myself at home. The answer is not a place, but a time.

Over the river, time gathers its skirts and jumps,

the James, wide as an ocean.

If there wasn’t a road I would have swum. If I could not swim

I would have built a vessel. The blood in me jumps to return to where I began;

100 miles each way is wisdom if I listen. Singing along

with songs that drive my family crazy, I am alone,

crossing into me by crossing a river, and a river,

the bay empty of all its luck, I slay, I slay, I slay[1] the 100 miles each way.

I fill up my rivers by crossing rivers to uncover time.

I feared I waited too long. No, I fear no more. How is a body like a river?

100 miles is nothing to a river. The answer is not an answer.



[1] Beyonce “Formation” 2016, from Lemonade