Nothing Will Keep Us

“I, I wish you could swim
like the dolphins,
like dolphins can swim.”
—David Bowie, “Heroes”

We’re the ones
who forget to get married.
We’re the ones
who think the dead

man’s float
is a dance

to be performed
to ward off
the god
Poseidon’s advances.

We’re the ones
who may have wished
certain men dead
to return as dung beetles

in another life.
We’re the ones

who will eat dirt,
if necessary,
to honor the scars
on our brows and lips.

We’re the ones
who used to jump
off brownstone cliffs
into those Portland quarries

on a dare—presented to us
over and over again.

So clear and cold and deep,
the water would shock us
into becoming the brave ones
just for one day.

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