The Crossing

Caroline Knapp

The quayed riverbed open like palms.

The not body not broken: is ended.

Shell of cicada dust-white in the calcite gulley.

A strange ship sailed in.

Sepia tree in the petal: a suffused tale we scarcely saw.

The men keep turning into deer.

Dropped datura body at our feet.

Name: antistrophe. Hemistich. Corner of my eye.

Death’s-head moth buttoned on the bathroom mirror.

I sing: keep before me the hollow between lines.

Name: terpsichore. Name: the mothers’ prayer.

This is the crossing:

Super flumina babylonis we hang up our old skins.

A swayed song we scarcely recognize.




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