people never die in deep water

by MARIAH PERKINS

One. When I was ten years old, I stole tadpoles from a puddle/I put them in a small fish tank/none of them became frogs/They never even sprouted legs.

Two. My high school classmate surrendered to the undertow/twenty feet from shore/reaching for her sister/who survived.

Three. Twelve ounces of beer/twelve ounces of beer/twelve more and more/My friend tells me she wants to wrap her car around a tree/Only 48 ounces can remind someone that it takes no time to get from/now to nothing.

Four. A friend was running last summer at dusk/a thin layer of sweat around his whole body/when the driver made contact.

Five. The doctor said grandpa had fluid build-up/something like water in the wrong places/the doctor drained it even though they could no longer do anything for the cancer.

Six. I’ve been told not to panic in water/but what do we do/when we are made of it?

Mariah Perkins is a poet from Grand Rapids, MI. She is currently an MFA candidate at Wichita State University. You can find more about/from her in SkipFiction (Grand Rapids Culture Blog), WYCE’s Electric Poetry, and Crack the Spine.