What kind of bridge would you prefer to be?
Would you rise above the Bosphorus,
join East to West? Would you span Indra’s Net,
link distant stars, cross the cosmic sea?
Carry the living to their death?
Transport the dead to be reborn
in heaven, hell, on earth? Connect
this birth and death to what comes next?
On your back, knees bent, feet pulled in close,
lift your spine and pelvis to the sky.
Roll your shoulders under, arch up higher.
Make space for ships to sail beneath your tailbone.
Would you cross the deep dark sea, alone,
knowing you will crumble, stone by stone?
Lying on your back with both legs up the wall,
your lumbar spine and sacrum on a bolster,
you close your eyes, release your head and shoulders,
transform yourself into a waterfall.
You feel the water cascade from your toes
down your legs to swirl around your navel
and flood the caverns of your heart and skull.
Nothing remains of you but water’s flow.
As your breath moves through your nose,
to do lists rise, past and future whirl
before your eyes and leave you longing
for one more glimpse of your true nature.
Thunder rumbles, the sky cracks open.
The sound of falling water stops time.
John W. Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher, assistant editor of Think: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction and Essays, and graduate of the MFA Poetry Program at Western Colorado University, where he studied with Julie Kane, Ernest Hilbert and David Rothman. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Afield, Amethyst Review, Boulder Weekly, Blue Unicorn, The Lyric, Mountains Talking, The Orchards, Society of Classical Poets, Verse-Virtual and Zen Bow. One of his poems was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart prize, another won The Lyric’s 2017 Fall Quarterly Award. His book reviews have appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Raintown Review.