You’ll know your time, they say,
women with their water-straddled hips
and sea-secret smiles.
Ride the pain, they say,
although their words are blurred.
How is it that the thought of this moment
stops their mouths at this retelling?
How is it that this myth is knotted in the
common bend of back and breast?
This story is written in our bodies.
I can only be given incantations to pant,
then set adrift in this unknown,
waiting for the wave of pain to wash
and ebb in measured breaths over me.
In the calm, I am tensed to bear,
braced for the storm that does not come.