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  • More Than One Way to Drown
  • Sara Michas-Martin (bio)

Again, last night pinning me down—what I now call the phantom. She was there,

my mother, wake up she said, hurry. I couldn’t move my arms or legs

—my mouth and eyes stayed sealed. They say, IsolatedSleep Paralysis. They say, medicine

medicine. Years ago I’d seen my mother by the sink, so darted across the field,

a trout pulsing in each hand. Lookwhat I caught, what I pulledfrom the water. But the misstep,

the conjured image: a child curled on the bottom of a well pond. I see

through tempered glass my own stone extremities. As if I’ve fallen beyond sleep. My body’s unbound,

intact like a rabbit frozen in the woodpile, like the fish

dropped in the grass. My mother on instinct restored my breath. But the dog was changed. [End Page 157]

And the child? Trout swirl up from the brush pile. They puff their gills

and flash their rainbow skin. They say there are no hands on me— no shadows near the bed. She says

it’s the pond inside, the last drops thrashing their way out. [End Page 158]

Sara Michas-Martin

Sara Michas-Martin is a former Stegner fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford and recently joined the faculty at Goddard College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in APR, Bird Dog, FIELD, jubilat, Pool, and elsewhere.



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pp. 157-158
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