by Whitney Waters

I fell
12 floors            (sitting against the silver door)
hit bottom (concrete)   grabbed onto
wooden framework
so I came back
will you recognize me?
you are pressing the elevator button
as you were                     moments ago
we swam            as shadows over rock
(knowing) we were being chased
what it feels like
is falling            in bed
like forgetting the house keys
and now there’s a new family
have you told her my name?
I watch you in the bedroom
mirror so I            remember
what to look for            exact
curve of spine            your silence
bound by those sharp angles
I am only river
and the fish swim              without me

Whitney Waters has taken several classes with the Great Smokies Writing Program and is currently enrolled in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at Western Carolina University. She enjoys trail running, camping, and spending time with her dog, Tallulah.

About Elevator—This surreal poem was inspired by a dream in which I died in an elevator crash and came back a different person. It blends dream poetry with introspection and the metaphorical resurrection of self after crisis.