Reflections on Water – Andreas Fleps
Lungs are 83% water, and my eyes
are green and blue—
I am full of drowning.
How many times have I came up
for air where there wasn’t any?—
yet I survived because I already had
a single toe dipped in a calmer tomorrow.
This morning I stepped into the shower;
let the warm water search my body with
hands like rivers. Little waterspout gurgling.
Soapy Starry Night. Everything went down
the drain except my filth.
Who hasn’t tried to rinse their face with
silence, or wipe their eyelids with lives
they haven’t lived?
Who can tidy up the tides of our coming
and going? Who can cup the ebb and flow
of the wildness of being and bewilderment
in hands we can’t feel, and drink from it?
I wish I could be like the rain,
applauding its falling with more singing—
everything glistening after like lips wet from
kissing—sticky with the lingering breath of
It’s either sink or swim, but I had hoped
for a third option where joy floats in the
Dead Sea of my eyes with its hands behind its
head, or teardrops miraculously walking on
Undercurrent over the head of me.
Forgive my stream of consciousness,
and how a heart must row faster to catch up
to where the brain can take a body.
A mirage is only as large as the desperation,
and sometimes I see waterfalls between grains
of sand, and yes, my eyes are green and blue
and maybe full of fields of tall grass like hair
that grew its own brightness being brushed
by the wind and a spit-polished blue sky.
The body is 60% water, 20% gasping, and 20%
light refusing to drown.
Andreas Fleps is a 28-year-old poet, based near Chicago. He studied Theology and Philosophy at Dominican University, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as High Shelf Press, Snapdragon, The Windhover, and Waxing & Waning, among others. Battling Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder since the age of five, he translates teardrops.