I stepped so cleanly out
the leeches clinked and fell
from their inlaid beds
and the eels purled down
in green ribbons

From my backswept horns
the sopped weeds rained
and my hooves knocked at earth

Then the next cusp broke
my body
into rivulets

like spirals escaping
the circle of a silver terrace

and rushed to seas
inscrutably coiled
in the pharynx moor of gill
of charr

—but the mind simplifies
in the vast expanse
of millimeters

and the edges of all things
burr and broaden
so the trees have lost themselves

and the past is too deepened to say:

I swam always in a tangle
of branches, first of coral
then the lime lattices of moss
and then the black boughs
of space, consummate as
the caul fattening between each world
colorless and lightless

and webbed widely
over emptiness


Author Image

Stephanie Rose Adams lives in the Pacific Northwest with a wayward Guatemalan hound and a host of other willful creatures, real and imaginary. She is the author of The Sundering, winner of a New York Chapbook Fellowship from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in The Sharkpack Review, The Boston Review, Orion Magazine, and others.

Photo courtesy Leonard John Matthews

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