July 30

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She said see the grass turn down stream,
how the crow assembles out of the shadows
in the eye of a fish at dusk.

She said a bush is always grasping for water
underground. Every movement is many times
and places moving
away, accruing, up the page.
It’s not a riddle but a verb, she said,
washing hourly across the matte,
suspended like a solitary fish.

He said tell why you dropped the dark
into the river and fooled the fish to sleep?

She said you see a fish in the shallows.
I see a blacksmith’s hammer.
Why not say we see a swim bladder. Or a raven fixed
in the fork of that tree as a week’s worth of sleeplessness.
Did we really see a man crushed in a deserted city
deserted, did we really hear a man say that all
would be well as he broke our oars with an ax?

A cat unlocks a green eye, a child finds
a marble in the grass.
The priest opens his palms
to the rain and imagines a million gods
refracted in a healed scar.

The sky slowly slowly
draws us up unwilling

And soon I myself will rise, he said,
bleed across the page,
join you in the stillnesses of water and fish.

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