The Drowning Man

The manchild wrapped in my arms
could be a woman I’m not in love with.

Even in these half-hearted obsessions
I get carried away, I can’t concentrate.

I come down on the open mouth
and for a moment

the rain comes down
outside a dark room
far, far away.

But always the wind
the wind slipping off the ocean

comes through an open window
high above the city

reminding me that somewhere
far out at sea

I’m gasping for breath
I am a drowning man

who sees through the heavy
water, a light

somewhere far off
a light, and air.

Elizabeth Knight’s poems and nonfiction have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Fiberarts, American Craft and CLR. In 1990 she received the prestigious Massachusetts Artist Fellowship in Nonfiction.