Teach Me to Float – Ashanti Anderson

after Wade in the Water

Wade in the water that surrounds us, a testament that Earth will keep on
jivin’ without you, a covenant of God, a promise to propel you
to lower water pressures as you sink. In the water, suffocation is like cotton,
those waves you question become your noose, your own bones
chain you to the thing you swim from. Wade in, but don’t trust these waves
for kindness; they own you and don’t owe you a thing.
God is gonna fix your lips not to complain of fish who drink tears for oxygen.
When you feel there is nothing left to give this life, cry again.
Your purpose is your pain. Trouble these waters. But don’t ask me why
your God made waves that tear into you all too familiar.
That which you consider an epilogue, let me remind you is practice.


Ashanti Anderson is a MFA student in poetry at University of California, Riverside. She was an honorable mention for the Truman Capote Literary Trust Award and her poem, “Ode to Brown,” has been nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Furrow, New Voices, and Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing.