paper boat and green river

an oar’s swing lifts a mad tale
a tea stain suggests something older
than its appearance 

which way will the green river lean?
such thin points will force your arrows
to match the elements

or blame the churches:
all the worst things are first written
to read agelessly

remembering this
you beckon the same and savage
black creatures fill out the moor

land dissolves into milk and vinegar
each chooses according to taste 

                        —

fingered or forgotten     the fish here
they are full of excuses

a tree creates the bible then forgets

a flowing vein      an arrow locates the sun
furrowed into a corner
you are doubled and doubled again

facedown      your boat and cheek rivered  

the peaks will soften
falling whitely against you

burying sand in eyes      blind funerals 

                        —

in a fold
then another
we find

a wilder land and green    �
clarity      unpacking your lonely chorus:      

a vessel dragged vacantly to land

Sarah K Bell

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