Marge Piercy

What It Costs

Now it costs to say I will survive, now when my words coat my clenched teeth with my blood, now when I have been yanked off love like a diver whose hose is cut. I push against the dizzying onslaught of heavy dark water. Up or down? While the heart kicks like a strangled rabbit and the lungs buckle like poor balloons: I will survive. I will lift the leaden coffin lid of the surface and thrust my face into the air. I will feel the sun's rough tongue on my face. Then I'll start swimming toward the coast that must somewhere blur the horizon with wheeling birds.


Moments when I care about nothing except an apple: red as a maple tree satin and speckled tart and whiny. Moments when body is all: fast as an elevator pulsing out waves of darkness hot as the inner earth molten and greedy. Moments when sky fills my head: bluer than thought cleaner than number with a wind fresh and sour cold from the mouth of the sea. Moments of sinking my teeth into now like a hungary fox: never otherwise am I so cruel; never otherwise so happy.
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