day 23: there was a river we couldn’t cross


There Was a River We Couldn’t Cross


For a while, it was

very dark. I tied a ribbon

to your wrist and we wandered together

through the blackness


until you turned your belly into a lantern

and we glowed from the inside out.


At moments, we were underwater.

Otherwise, I was driving the both of us

down a winding road at midnight

while a white doe trailed the car.


There was a river we couldn’t cross

where an old man lowered constellations with a net

into the water. He wouldn’t look at us.

He knew that we were stumbling,

half-blind, trying to make meaning


of something we would forget before morning.

At dawn when I told you where we were —

covered in ash, wading through


a river thick with the shadows of fish

moving too fast but all vaguely familiar,

you touched my hand and laughed.


I was damp from the waist down.

You had hardly slept.

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