I feared it would be like pulling teeth,
all hide-and-seek to avoid betrayal, not easy
like removal of a five-year-old’s wiggled incisor.
Then the miracle that my cupped hands
in hers hold water, no leaks,
no protruding river veins or age stains,
they look prayerful rather than begging.
Read more "Interpolating from the Inspection of My Shadow "
My pointed toe could be bold, an arch
to perfect the gymnast’s leap in open air.
We hover low over the river. His eyes are shining,
Read more "Christopher, After the Explorer"
wildfire breath coming in gasps. Wildebeests
stampede through the tall grass below us and I pray
to God everything works itself out, one way or another.
His hands are rough like mine and my father’s
before us. He’s fast undoing the knots and then
a dead weight falls away. When I look back
down, all I see are ripples across the surface
of the dark water, the disappearing backs of crocodiles.
Benzene blue his eyes and soul—
How slowly we fall.
An embrace of glassy green
On my skin again.
Dark blue, pinhole stars,
My body the midnight sky
Bending over his.
Hand on hand. Dreams slip
Read more "One Night on the Riverbed"
Into the underbelly
Of the universe.
Comfortable in the cold,
Read more "Wildling"
mist tendrils rising
across morning garden,
dry in the rising wind.
Cracking this year’s journal,
I release pleasure to the river.
Behind a dome of December clouds,
the sun struggles.
My body the underside
Of a river at night, dark blue water
Strewn with a pinch of stars.
All is quiet now that I’ve lost
The will to fight. All I can conjure up
Is a lonesome silent fish, a gentle splash
Of gold on the face of the moon.
Then all falls backs into the soft,
Watery black. I’m on my back,
And my legs will not move.
All I can do is wait to be reborn.
Read more "Convalescent"
Delta Mouth Moon pull swift tide bringing arrowheads quiver dropped loosened skirt strings tight arm and notch to bow dead elks bloat in the shore foam Moon swift pushing so saturnine up a slick and bawdy ship hull up a sickly girl-thigh on a naked shoreline Moon full drip ink on a violet dry notches […]
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River Dogs River folk have destroyed the bridge beneath an obsolete moon their dogs run wild lizards grasped tightly in their iron jaws beneath an iron moon the bridge yaws empty a tracery of absence where the bridge once existed dogs laugh into the throat of history observing the ongoing battle between freshness and salt jellyfish encroach […]
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The Middle Verses the past bleeds, a black river the future stretches out, a winding sheet, and all that lies in the sun bears witness to the soft vowels of the earth the sky is a radiant flower a camellia rain falls like petals like broken bones chasms open mountains echo a lost word in […]
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Clyde Kessler, poet and naturalist, lives in Radford, VA with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their home and named it Towhee Hill. His latest book of poems, Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse (Cedar Creek Publishing), was illustrated by his wife, Kendall Kessler. Smuggling Butterflies Sunrise […]
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Sylvan Lebrun is a student, poet, and musician living in Tokyo, Japan. Her work has been previously published in The Lavender Review, Bitterzoet Magazine, The Fourth River, and Crab Fat Magazine the tower a wildfire is started at torres del paine national park how much longer? asks the daughter of the mother i have not met yet sharpened ribbons […]
Read more "the tower"