Suzanna C. de Baca | 2 Poems

How to Care

Go home, she said,
go home and build a fire.
Hold your sweetheart’s hand.
Listen to each others’ breath.
There is so little time.
Why waste it on big things,
when you can go home
and simply be, when you can
still go home.

Should Nothing Matter

I was underwater, in a clear pool, diving deep one day.
But the sides disappeared and I was suddenly in the sea,
so dark and murky. I descended, headfirst, using my arms
to pull me, but just before I touched rock, the bottom opened up
and I was face down in a lake, sediment and lilypads blinding me.
I spun myself around, now belly up in a dead man’s float,
trying to recover my bearing. I kicked hard, propelled forward,
reaching my hand upward, touching the sky, but the air above me
collected into a cloud and my fingers went right through it,
grasping for a handhold. It was only then I realized I did not know
where I was or where I was going. I panicked, putting arm
over arm, trying to climb the cloud, and I clawed at nothing,
unable to breathe, gasping in the thin air. Dizziness
overcame me. Down and down I went into the depths.
I fought, but too weak to go on, I stopped trying, exhaled,
closed my eyes, suddenly calm, still, nothing mattered,
and there I was, breaking the surface, sun streaming down
on the water, floating in a clear pool.

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