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River of Spoke & Dark

Carolyn Guinzio

Through the sole of the foot
comes foreboding:
By whose doing do you know
the bed is hard and sharp, the floor.
Stillness keeps the water clear.
It is raining somewhere else, and above
where it is raining, it is dark.

     And yet— break, heart—

Though there is a there,
a river notes the rain.
The wader standing still in water
to his knees is listening.
No other human eye to meet,
he watches the wary heron
finding footing on the bank.

     —That’s but a trifle here—

Where river opens into ocean,
if he reached expecting skin
where there was web or feather,
hide or scale, reaching
toward the spoke to stop
the turning river dragging
what it will over the rocks.

     —Look there, look there—

Fathom, sound, who spoke
to make the not-
yet-worn cries and stones
spike sharper? The wader
wonders what, as he turns back
to the salt that made him,
what will have been his doing?

Carolyn Guinzio

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