The Poet and Her Changeling Go Swimming

She is a distracting creature, with her pellucid body
like glass that peels back its own skin to allow
the curious voyeur to set himself on fire inside
her sacred temple. She has no need for clothing, either
as the orb that floats ever before me and invites me to touch
or as the translucent nymph walking next to me. Little
spirits, delicate membranes of rainbow and shimmer,
slide across her skin; every once and then
as I turn to speak to her, I see one of these Divine promises
slide over her nose, an eyelid, or a cheek.

I have stood before her, fingertips
crying for connection and the release of vision,
eyes clouded with the fragile sleep of innocence
which crumbles and falls to the ground as glitter
after I have been soaked, skin to bone, with
stars, planets, stray comets, photographs,
dreams, nightmares, and opened books. I have
danced with her as the pale muse — a man
of pallid white skin with a black flag of hair
unfurled behind him. As the frizzy-haired
brown princess, she is a loquacious six-year old
who never tires of telling me stories. But today
she is the orb as a woman, and we
have ventured into the water to swim.

She knows the water: her soul is as deep
as the rivers, Langston might say. I think
of this, and she is now African: this
slender dark brown woman, all muscle and adrenaline,
dives below into the belly of the river. She rises up,
breaks surface: and her wide lips like open arms
embrace laughter and sunlight. I think
of water, unchained and ancient, and she
is now a he, brown hair in slick sheets drenched
with the river’s love, and ivory skin tinctured
with the blush of blood and sex. He says nothing, only
grins and swims away from me; in mid-stream,
he looks back and motions for me to follow. Once
I meet him in the center of the stream, he
is now the man I love, amber skin glistening with
diamonds in the sun, his onyx hair lined with silver
veins. We are skin spirits, floating midstream
inside ancient soul: and the best we can do is
dive, summersault, and cast watery crowns
from our heads each time we break surface. We imps
play in its stolen gold, baptized by Eden’s arms
which contain this river, this sun, and the
afternoon fading into golden evening.

Written 5/24/13
© Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

I again took on Margo Roby’s challenge with a Poem Tryout. This time, we were asked to imagine what our muse looked like and then write a poem about doing an activity — something other than poetry — with him/her/ze/it. I imagined mine as a changeling, since so many different things and people give me inspiration.


Stumble It!
Stumble It!

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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4 Responses to The Poet and Her Changeling Go Swimming

  1. margo roby says:

    Lordy, this is gorgeous. I was going through computer files a few days ago and came across a poem of yours from a couple years ago, which I had saved because of the sheer beauty of what you do with language. I’m going back up to revel with your muse for a bit.

  2. Pamela says:

    Nicole, I so agree with Margo. Your use of language is strikingly good. I love your muse. My apologies, but I didn’t realize you wrote to Margo’s prompt or I surely would have come to visit and read.


  3. atavicpoetry says:

    “…baptized by Eden’s arms”
    Absolutely loved this line

  4. Thank you! I saw a little of your blog and I intend to read more. Thanks for stopping by.


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