How to Stay Afloat – Kelly-Lee Hickey

It goes like this ;
you take some small part of yourself,
fashion it into a paper boat.
Be careful with the delicate folds,
ensure it is water tight, just below
the bow, blow your wish.

Carry it gently.
Under no circumstances should you try
to put it in your pocket, even in a large bag
it may crumple under the weight
of miscellaneous possessions.

In your hands is the only safe place.
Keep your palms open at all times.

When you come to the water
do not jump in. This is why
you built a vessel. You are
a land dwelling mammal
all hot blood and need
for oxygen, the wind licking
sails is not the same
as breathing.

Get down low, not in
prayer, but for practicality
you want to see this close
up, test the wind with your saliva
streaked across one finger,
it’s not fail proof, every assumption
is based in some part on a lie.

Now gather your breath, your bellowing
mammalian weakness, poise
the boat against the water, the boat
against your lips. Draw back the wind
like an arrow, hold it
like grudge. When you feel it
folding (like a dream
into a paper boat), take this
small fragment of yourself
floating. Let it go
and don’t look back.