the pond water. Your naked skin
white like a fish belly under
the pond water.
Mud mouths your heels and shins
before you swim away
into algae yarn and sun shafts.
With a meticulous vision,
you could see how sentient
every drop is.
Your strokes push aside
the flagellated and ciliated
creatures that then trail behind—
your living wake.
Tiny arms and tails are lovingly,
in your mouth, nostrils,
the twist of your ear,
the cup of your eye.
When you finally submerge your hair,
turtles appear and sing about the plant matter
and particle mud clinging to fine hairs
all over your mammal body.
Their back beat is ripples
gaining and losing the weedy bank.
About “Your Body Goes Slowly Under”: As a child, I swam in a pond that had water bordering on the primordial – dark, thick, each drop visibly full of algae and mud. I’m drawn to the beauty and mystery of microscopic worlds doing their amazing and unnoticed things all around our existence.
Jessica Fordham Kidd lives and writes in Coker, Alabama with her husband, children, and dog. She is the associate director of first-year writing at the University of Alabama, and her poems have appeared in Mirror Dance, Drafthorse, and The Paris Review among others. She has work forthcoming in Goblin Fruit and Ideomancer. You can find Jessica on the web at jessicafordhamkidd.com and on twitter (@jessicafkidd).