River return us
Naming is not possession of a moment
or moth wing brushing moonflower in darkness,
some are nocturnal, some only walk in twilight,
having gathered up tracks of possum, sifted
wind for coyote, singing is the power buried in pine
released by lighting.
There was a time, a conversation
of jalousies clacking open then shut,
when my mother's words were little more
than a wish for a rope and a tree, the motion
of her hands working into knots,
rope coiling on tongue.
What went in one ear and out; herons, the other
of dancing in shallows, rivulets of small fish
dart here and there, pelicans observe all,
the low glide of wave top precision.
We dissolve in this landscape where it is only natural
to be queer and trans, to hold a mirror to the sun,
to sing for my tide against windblown sparks
of what arson has laid waste, see now
how moon raises a great blade against day.
Darkness burnishing waters, mirror of opacity,
my grandmother's cast iron skillet liquefied,
a face of sinuous power flowing to the Gulf,
gators hauled out on sandbars,
sugar drifts of sand, oaks dip into the current,
moss feathers on a wind, there is no god
that has not marked us for extirpation.
Today's flow is north, vast flowers of water
strolling past us, blooming over the flatwoods,
shimmering with cicada and grasshopper song,
rain fills the many mouths open in supplication.
Never not unbroken, wind whistling through
lattice of bone and sinew lashings,
a lantern blinking semaphore
to a horizon of cloud and sea, never
a reply, only shadows lengthening
beneath oak and magnolia.
Everything here is a mirror of a mirror
blackwater rising, flood plain
extends wrist to sternum, inundation
of spine, incremental lift, embrace of cypress,
of sky, place without winter where no sap descends
tree, root and soil in sleepless conversation.
Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Can be found on Twitter @ Peach Delphine