the moon in your chest squeezing / salt water down your untouched flesh

Photo of poet Terese Mason Pierre

The salt road encroaches on the river,
or, perhaps, the other way

around, short spray stealing sediment
each year. Remarking this model mourns me

to you. When it is time for your own
turning of earth, I should search

for you in the blank sky, in the fingerprints
on the fabric of my skin and hair.

The river is deep and deadly. To swim
is to make a statement, or, rather,

to test a question. Who shall pull me
out, who will call at me to return

to pallid land, out of watery opportunity?
In the blue dark, I hold your hand and don’t

let go. You have no family here,
and the work bleaches your bones—

the moon in your chest squeezing
salt water down your untouched flesh.

After you tell me, I stare at the sun
for several hours, ask a different kind

of question. The universe hears and sends rain, sends
floods to satisfy me, and fails.

Terese Mason Pierre
Terese Mason Pierre is the co-editor-in-chief of Augur Magazine, a Canadian speculative literature journal. Her work appears in Quill & Quire, Brick, and Fantasy Magazine. She lives and works in Toronto.

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