“Bridges” by Stephanie Kendrick


Every time I cross a bridge
	I hold my breath. A
superstitious mother called
	this for good luck,
but I knew I had to become
	weightless enough
to float above the dark rivers
	and troubled creeks
of places I once called home.
	Timing is everything.
Inhale deep enough so it lasts
	through the end. I 
always hold it an extra second
	just to be sure. 
At the start, it seems too easy.
	Even the weakest of us
can stand several seconds of
	breathlessness. I try
to focus on the water—a barge 
	headed to port, a sparkle
of sun reflecting on the waves—
	just enough distraction
to keep me feathered above
	this body. It works
every time I cross a bridge. I
	know the middle of them
is always the weakest part, no
	matter the number of
beams, no matter the rising panic,
	how it settles like an anchor
as I reach the other side.

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