Swallowed Whole

Water must be one
of the categories. Full

stop. Snow melt drains
into street pot holes +

sidewalk dips + puckers
to form a chain, no

a maze, of tiny bodies
of water, temporarily elevating the land

of 10,000 lakes tally
to a new high.

Today’s soggy scene becomes
tomorrow’s slate lullaby.

Unmasked ghosts materialize
in the morning mud

to warn of highway dangers.
Maws dripping with silt +

slurs will have their moment.

You think you can shed your skin
like some kind of snake

to escape into the next
you. Some kind of last-century lover,

she’s already onto that one too.
Always island hopping,

she wanders off in both directions
(in search of hidden passages +

bridges) the way she promised
she wouldn’t.

And she puts her paws
on your shoulders

when she comes to.
This is no hollow meandering.

This is your tomorrow’s murmur.
All that luscious black hair

gets entangled with submerged tree roots when she swims in the dark—

so desperate to be entertained
by her own terror.

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