Drowning: A Glosa In Memory Of Chester Bennington

by Anne Graue


Take me down to the river bend
Take me down to the fighting end
Wash the poison from off my skin
Show me how to be whole again

                                                                    “Castle of Glass,” Linkin Park

Water pools in earth’s depressions,
fills crevasses with its shifts of current
longing, feigns friendship with nuanced
filtered streaming, entices with gentle
measured waves of push and pull
with no conceivable end to its confluence.
It is everywhere and nowhere
and knows its own force of will, knows
my urge to swim, float, drift, tread—
Take me down to the river bend.

I can’t claim to know things about rivers
except from a distance—what I’ve read in books
or seen in movies. They are monsters
smoothing out rough edges in slow
motion, eroding any possible boundaries,
carving landscapes, performing ascension
rituals with the likes of us, lulling us
to complacency until we snap
brittle backwards and reach for the strand—
Take me down to the fighting end

where I will kick and scream and shout
out all of the injustices of the world,
the ones that hold captives sheltered
behind the appropriate and the expected,
hold knives to jugulars, guide hands
with razors, wear the usual sheepskin
coats. They hide in cracks of glass
in remote castles and whisper sad tunes
that ooze of pleasure and nothing—
Wash the poison from off my skin

so that I might distinguish pain
from nausea and joy from ennui. Stop
bellowing, shut up and let me think about
something else besides drowning. Silence
your disassociated growls and whispers, your
commands from the nova’s glow. Explain
to me once more what it means to be
human inside these watery threads
of glass. It could have been anyone—
Show me how to be whole again.

Anne Graue is the author of Full and Plum-Colored Velvet, (Woodley Press, 2020) and Fig Tree in Winter (Dancing Girl Press, 2017) and has poetry in SWWIM Every Day, Verse Daily, Rivet Journal, Mom Egg Review, Flint Hills Review, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and in print anthologies, including The Book of Donuts (Terrapin Books, 2017) and Coffee Poems (World Enough Writers, 2019). Her book reviews appear in FF2 Media, Adroit, Green Mountains Review, Glass Poetry Journal, and The Kenyon Review. She is a poetry editor for The Westchester Review.