The Opposite of Drowning

by Carolin Messier

momix botanica

River turned stone

from the cruelty of cold

still moves and cracks its surface.

The waters won’t be stilled

even in this icy vice

of deepest winter.

Fluid, and alive with spirits

who won’t be silenced by

the hard crust

of the world’s indignity.


They rise and ram,

pushing at the underside

of the glass ceiling

trying to breathe

and be heard.


Elbows, arms and fists

jab and pound

to splinter their silencing impediment.

Whole bodies thrust,

faces crystalline in scream

sheathed in frozen water.

Surging, shouting

shrieking to be heard

from the swiftly rushing flow

of civilization.


They rise and thrust

pushing at the underside

of opportunity


they be heard.


They punch, propel,

and launch

their bodies out of water into air,

to delicate flakes

of hexagonal star breath.

Inhale the polygons

that melt and drip

into their lungs,

lubricating voice

to sing with clarity.


Inspired by the opening scene in Botanica by dance company MOMIX.