by Ariana Lenarsky

Published in Issue No. 175 ~ December, 2011

There was no water for the river, the dam

had been reopened intentionally. Still,

moisture came quickly, like a new age,

as the bridge murmured its weight

and bare birds ringed the shadow of a cloud.


Summertime, relentless, its pickling

daysweat pooling fear

at the armpit, red oak rashes poisoning the ankle and back,

each bump emerged like the head of a match.


We crept along the water and all at once

we just sort of came away in the mouth

as an excuse is swallowed, thick

as a finger in the ear, and chippy little screams

dipped over us, thin scarves.


Even the sirens listened until

we faded, though we felt our mother

picking us apart, her immense love draping

down around our bodies.

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Ariana Lenarsky lives in Los Angeles.