by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

We keep settled
on the plans,
never looking back
on the pile
of discarded bodies,
too indecisive
to bear our own
minds, to jackknife
through them
as if drilling
through water
and emerging
cleansed in oxygen
with history clinging
to us like peeling
decals off
our dripping
backs. We breathe
freely inside,
slide unnoticed
past the unmarked
of abandoned churches,
just one foot
in front of the other
doing all we can
to concentrate
on the scraping
of boots against
the ground,
climbing the belfries
and placing
the weight
of our battered
bodies beneath
the ropes of bells,
to all that we have won,
pulling harder
so they know
we have really won.

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