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River Return Us by Peach Delphine

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

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


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