Tag Archives: river

Yesterday Morning

Floating downstream
in the middle of the river
I had you alone
to myself
and it felt like
we belonged there
as much as the turtles
and the great blue herons
startled into flight
by our strange wings
dipping into the water—
and it felt like calm
had finally arrived
to replace the doubt
that kept trying
to pull me under—
and for the first time
it seemed as though you
(who have never been lost)
might not be able
to find your way home
if we were parted
by the currents
and set adrift
in opposite directions.









In the Woods

I knew
I had to memorize
the way it felt
for you to help me
untuck your shirt
so I could thread my arms
around your waist—
my open hands
reading the smooth
braille of your skin—
and I found a warmth
so tender I shivered
to think such a heat
extended into parts
of you I’d never find
or feel—
and the sycamores
along the river
were the only trees
to take an interest
in our bittersweet union
because they lived
with their white skin
glowing and exposed
and they couldn’t
understand our layers
or why we thought
we had so much to hide.










You were telling me
about the sycamores—
the impossible
angles they lean into
as if they wanted so badly
to stretch across the river—
something about
a root plate keeping them
from being swept away
like the other trees
that were getting pulled under—
their roots not equipped
to bear the currents.
Then you pointed upward
to admire how their branches
went from pure white
down to a patchwork
of mottled brown bark—
and as I was looking up
your arms pulled me
into you and I felt your heart
break a little against mine
because the currents
were coming fast now
and we were without roots
to keep us together—
to keep us from ruin—
and the waters, soon,
would be sweeping us away.







Painting by Frank H. Johnston, “Patterned Hillside” 1918

All I Need to Know

Your shirt said
and I wanted to do what it said
to find out what you’d do
once you got there—
if you’d invite me to stay
or thank me for dropping you off.
I know how much you love
the water – the way it
can’t be contained—
the way you like to move
in its direction whenever possible
on your lime green Kayak, alone—
which is all I need to know
to make a guess that
I’d be left standing on the shore
like a curious sort of bird,
watching you drift away from me
as I drown in the absence
of your love.