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Self-Portrait in a Meandered Stream


a) Waving to Refractions

Of thought. First the fishpull, suck and swallow in the shallows. I braid my hair into streams of line, each one knottier than the last. The weight of a girl’s hair, made wet, is enough to break her back. I have hooks made of steel. Or maybe silver. Or maybe gold. As the trajectory arcs via the hand, the worm flies for the first time.


b) On Bottom Feeders

Size is relative. For example, carp are a form of minnow. For example, my fist forms a rivered stone, big enough for a crayfish house, big enough for breaking the surface of a moving object. The narrows beneath my eyes equal the color of stones as they’re lifted from the river, before they dry to dusk and shallows.


c) Stones Worn to Holes

A wave changes direction as it changes speed. The thumb rubs the knee cap over and over, wears the skin to vellum and ink. If someone finds the teeth, they can make an amulet of fishing line and calcium. Their neck will whisper sandwiches and wine. Things that are full of holes make room for something else. A worn ring is a waning moon is an open mouth is a belly full of worm and eggs.


d) By Pistils and Stamens

Things grow in the leftover spaces. Where this leg was, a compression. Where these fingers, a bent stem. By which I mean to say, purple is not the same as violent. Beneath the soft-petal, beneath the rotting, voluptuous earth, you know this. By which I mean to say, everyone leaves. You know this too. I want the worm back. The crushed scent. The heart-shaped stone.




NOTES: The first poem so far that actually feels like a poem to me. I actually kind of like it. Very far off from the prompt, but still inspired by it.

Read today’s prompt by Jeremy Edwards (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience.