the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Maggie Mae

June Bug

It was never invited, but June
arrives, again, salted over with
sweat from bare backs digging
6 feet out of the top of the Earth.

Each year, I wait on my doorstep
for this season, slicing outer skeletons
of June bugs. I always meant to be
a parastoid, carving through hard scarabs,

aching for the last bud of May
to stay in place. Some dead ones
have a place for grass to grow,
for roses to die, for lovers’ feet to find support

but my dead one has been sifted
through the sinful flames of intention,
he stole his own soul and left

on desperate winds that
will never know protection.


My Sahara

I mention the desert, and he stirs
like a rattler. It’s been six
days since I left him
to himself. He groans
about my barren Sahara.
“You have dried up”, he says.

I dig memories from under my
fingernails while he
packs himself for a stream,
or the Mississippi, or the Pacific
that knows how to cradle strong men
at night.



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