Glory Be by Deborah Pless

By Deborah Pless

Saltwater clouds your lungs as you come up gasping from a wave
not even waist deep yet and already drenched
the blue of your bathing suit shining through the white of your dress
you’re twelve, baby, and this is the biggest decision you’ve ever made

Salt spray pulls at your hair and your feet go out from under,
the preacher’s hand clamps on your arm like the devil is in the waves
I miss you, baby, with your white dress and blue bathing suit
your loose wet hair and how you grimaced in all the photographs

The women said you weren’t ready for this and they were right
but there in the glimmer of your wince is the promise of everything
sharp rocks sting your feet as you come back up from drowning and
the preacher passes his hand over your face under a cloudy sky

Baptized in a summer storm, still here, glory be

About Deborah Pless

Deborah Pless lives in Cambridge, MA. Her work has previously appeared in quiet and Kindred Magazine, among others.

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