by David B Prather

Published in Issue No. 278 ~ July, 2020

Quiet street, my river,

my tributary to there

and where, takes me unaware

today. How did sunlight find

its way here? I’m beginning

to question my place

in the world, gray water

still as pebbles,

stagnant, people trapped

in the corner of my eye,

floaters that won’t blink

away. Everyone I know.


Everyone I know is adrift

on other rivers. Elm Street,

Oak Street, Division Street,

a place that keeps us

apart. First, Seventh, Tenth

and a Half, all add to an ocean

I’ve never seen. Those who have

never return. The water there

is vast and alters perception.


Did you know when you drink sea

water, the salt dehydrates

your body, your thirst

unbearable? I trust those who say

there is a current that runs

swift beneath the surface,


creatures that wait in muck

and roots, among twigs and rocks.

Remember, salvation flows

from where to there, at first

towards us, then away.

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David B. Prather is the author of We Were Birds from Main Street Rag Publishing. His work has appeared in several print and online journals, including Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Seneca Review, The Literary Review, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Grey Sparrow Journal, Sheila-Na-Gig, and many others. He lives in Parkersburg, WV.