Let Your Breath Out and Wait

the river called me down
I didn’t know her name
just the voice calling
across summer so hot the air
stole back everything I drank
til it hung on me, a heavy
drunk like Josh expecting me
to carry him home Sunday morning
I collapsed under the weight
of the shore

I burned the bridges I stood on
collapsed into her arms
and wept, or drowned,
shrouded in charred skin
mourning as molted feathers drifted
across the surface of the water,
gathering in waterlogged eddies
like rice left along the curb
as the car pulls away

she was so close as I stood on the rocks
just past the riptide, just out of my depth
all froth and lace and brokenshell-sharp teeth
the song pounds through my chest
stone brown as my skin, hot as my blood
under my feet as my heart picks out
the rhythm of the river and I jump

between the beats

too fast and not far enough
I can’t tell if the shock is the water
or the rock or my lights
going out as she pulls me close
whispers the lyrics as I hum
vibrating with melody
coughing, choking, spitting her out
but never straying far from her either
never listening to good sense
when she opens her arms and calls my name

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