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.