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The River

the river spoke

to me once; one

morning when the

blackbird paused –

in song, i heard it with

grit in its teeth words

stuck in my mouth

like salt on seashells.

close my eyes and i

am in the liminal

space between

land and water,

in the mill where

the past lives.

there is a vessel here,

an eel with one hundred

slippery legs

Flossie has her.

venetian blue steel

eyes undulating hips

kinked like oxbow lakes.

can’t you see Her at midnight –

flesh like silk coiled around

the turbine. if we turned

the river inside out there

would be bones. words

decomposed fragmented

memories lost to the water.

Amber Spalding


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