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Steel Toe Review

What Remains Unchanged (Three Poems)

Steel Toe Review

November 25, 2016

2016

What Remains Unchanged

I am still your river sort of boy, a freshwater fish. Ocean knows
my soul, told me so, holds me close, stirs those embers, says no
crime remembering sediment-heavy flows, browned by a whole
day’s downpours, currents quickened, swollen, hungry to flood.
Could snag a careless boy as fast as any sly rip. Or in a drought,
when rivers run thin to just skin and ribs, a most faithful beggar
pleading to wash your feet. I dream in rivers, currents reversed,
flowing home to one big sky eye. I watch my mother humming
gospel from a bank as old pastor holds my nose, dips me under.
Brave slave girl wades marshlands, crying baby unfed, kept dry
above her head. I love rum, but pass. Ocean swigs, passes back.