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Hovering above
the wheedle brown—
gaunt mud
sucking, hissing dryly

thinking I saw animals in there—
putting something
haughty in the way I held my

bones—to signal
I am human—stay away

the mud full of me—
slow—deliberate sloth
resuming and then
breaking off

not suddenly but with
the purpose
of a stomach being sucked in

the crepuscular
instant when the eyes
go under
then the face

pointed outward like ears
but the ears choked
with brine


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Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections Winter Sex (Verse Press) and The Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions), as well as of the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood among Gamblers (Crown). Poems, essays, and reviews have recently appeared in The Enemy, VOLT, The Boston Review, and CURA. She is currently at work on a collection of poems titled The Engineers.

Feature image by Evan Nesbit, Porosity (High-Order Aberration), 2015. 79 x 68 inches. Acrylic, dye, and burlap. © Evan Nesbit. Courtesy of the artist and Eleven Rivington Gallery.

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