On “The Giants Dance” by Kay Sage
by Nadia Arioli

(a Golden Shovel after Lana Del Ray)

Listen. The only way to swim is to kiss. /
There is no moving through, only towards. Me, /
I am a different size in water. I look hard /
at my refracted light. I am solid and wave. Before /
human beings ever floated. they were giants. You /
have legs that stretch to the bottom of the hot lake. I go /

stand on the edge on the last day of summertime /
and watch the other giants dance. This sadness /

is nostalgia for a moment that isn’t done. I /
sputter in and out. I try to focus on swimming, and just /
jump like someone is taking a picture, like I wanted. /
I can feel my childhood ending. You /
only ache this way once. Once, everyone went out to /
play for the last time, but we didn’t know /

it then. But I have swum at different sizes. I remember that /
all I have to do is trust I’ll find other aches. As a baby, /
I swam, as a giant I swam. So you /
see, I jumped off that cliff, finally, seventeen, the /
largest swimmer, as big as the lake, where I fit best. /

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 4.

Nadia Arioli, (nee Wolnisty) is the founder and editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spry, SWWIM, Apogee, Penn Review, McNeese Review, Kissing Dynamite, Bateau, Whale Road Review, SOFTBLOW, and others. They have chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective, Dancing Girl Press, and a full-length from Spartan.

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