“Everything is telling one big story.”
In a dream, we’re at a lake,
skipping sunworn pebbles
into the afternoon. The sky
is always a hazy shade of pink.
A child and a man glide
alongside me. A ruffled white dress
trails in the shallows, and no one
is mad. A male duck flips underwater,
then returns to its mate. Did you
see that? The image wavers, static
interruption. Lifetime member
of the Frequent Criers Club,
I wake like a sponge needing
to be wrung out, seeking
a safe place to become a mountain.
In a house, where a father has lost
all sense of where a kitchen knife
belongs, a child becomes a raincloud,
hovering. Two decades later,
my lover’s drunken thunder
throws me into the current again.
I want to see the world
from a different angle so I have decided
to become a god of electricity.
A panic is nothing but a flurry
of neurons. The river
flows from the mountain.
Whatever we are, we drink from it.
At the center is always a lake. As if
I am already a mother watching
a toddler ripple into adulthood,
I wave goodbye out the window
and then suddenly I’m still, as if
alone, as if endless, as if
here for a moment, weightless.
Nancy Lynée Woo is a PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and an MFA candidate at Antioch University. She was awarded the Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach and an Idyllwild Writers Week Fellowship in 2019. She is the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014). She teaches community poetry workshops called Surprise the Line, and hosts a reading series at the Long Beach Public Library called Off the Page: The Story Behind the Stanzas. Find her online at nancylyneewoo.com.