“Water Fall” by Kailani Bird Clarke

Kailani Bird Clarke (age 14)


Do you ever sit in a bathtub
the shower on,
the drain closed,
water coming up to your thighs, and you lean back
and put the bottoms of your feet directly in the stream
of water,
and the droplets hit your soles,
and you wonder if this is what love is like,
an unknown feeling felt
nowhere else except a place
as dirty and cracked and unseen as the bottoms of your feet,
or maybe your heart,
and perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the words
“soul” and “sole”
sound the same,
and you enjoy the feeling for a little while,
and then you realize you’ve wasted so much water
and time,
so you turn it off
and open the drain
and lie there staring
at ceiling tiles wetted by steam
as your body dries
and the water leaves you like friends that had to go away,
and you see that it was worth it all,
and maybe the water wasn’t wasted,
and then you stand and grab a towel and
move on.

from 2015 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Kailani Bird Clarke: “For me, writing poetry is not a choice. More an instinct. It’s what comes when a previously ineffable emotion becomes tangible, when a word or phrase gets lodged like a seed in my brain and grows, and when a feeling that demands to be put into words speaks out.”

Rattle Logo