Poems & Essays

18 Sep


General/Column One Response

The yoga instructor says,
Tense your muscles tight,
So we clench inward as still
as stones mortared into walls,
then release. This gives us lightness
as we gather our mats, rolling
their patterns inward. Day-
to-day I use this, to squeeze
fear farther into me,
so that like rocks metamorphosed,
it becomes something else:
the curved wave falling
into its crash, the small
shake in my mother’s hand
when she holds her water glass,
the space of sky squeezed
enough to spark lightning,
even our own bodies
are a compression of the moment
where luck meets molecules.
I gather my daughter carefully
above school blacktop,
fold her in my arms,
press her tightly to me,
then let go.


Alexandra Umlas lives in Huntington Beach, CA and is currently an MFA student in the Poetry program at California State University, Long Beach.

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