Flat lake stagnant with pondweed,
pickerelweed, dollar bonnet,
maidencane, spatterdock—

there’s no compass here.
The toothy dredge crackles along
the bottom, uprooting snails

and snappers. Put your foot
in that water, and you’ll lose a toe,
or worse, a whole foot.Creaturely

body, scummed over, skimmed by
the herons and egrets, and with nowhere
to go. Most days he’s talking to himself

again—what do I say? I am just
the woman on the plane reading
Codex on the Flight of Birds.

Drag and lift, yaw and pitch, get me
out of here. Heartsick has a smell,
a blue smell, like a country rain

on a stagnant lake, sulphurous
mud, pinpricks on the water,
blooms of algae green as bile.

He can hear me, a tinny sparrow
in his mildewed ear, and even without
a map it’s chip and cheep—it’s sing.

A.Marrin80.jpgAubrie Marrin‘s poems have appeared in Pequod, Minetta Review, and Western Humanities Review. Born in upstate New York, she received her MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 2005. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

Poet’s Recommendations:

Romanian Poems by Paul Celan.

The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda.

Birds of America: Stories by Lorrie Moore.

Homepage photo via Flickr by Rosa Say

At Guernica, we’ve spent the last 15 years producing uncompromising journalism. 

More than 80% of our finances come from readers like you. And we’re constantly working to produce a magazine that deserves you—a magazine that is a platform for ideas fostering justice, equality, and civic action.

If you value Guernica’s role in this era of obfuscation, please donate.

Help us stay in the fight by giving here.