Tract (The Soul)
The first slumber party in Angie Bushnell’s unfinished basement I’m light as a feather, afraid I am too fat but stiff as a board, light as all their fingers are just beneath my skin a feather, stiff I inhale and hold as a board until I rise, I believe.
If only one toe sticks out, I will have to do it over again…one strand of hair. And so we practice the choreography of baptism in the municipal pool. My cousin Trevor, only a few months older than me, and already taking his sacred rite. We switch and he bends me into full immersion, his hands locked around mine in case I need help plugging my nose. But I don’t; I know how to stop the water from coming in. I know how to keep my air.
It would be years before my first exhale. An expectorant that left my lips open in an equilateral triangle, like an infant’s.