Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Drain

The forest says Erase me,
and the door to the forest says
Close me softly as you leave,
and the floor of the forest whispers
like the woodwork in a damaged house.

I pull the word forest from my mouth
like an extra tongue, and still, I move forward
through the wetlands toward a line of low-slung hills,
each step I take a challenge
and a demarcation.

I make myself so small that I can walk
beneath the lady slippers’ feeble lanterns.
I make myself so continuous that I can see
the shallow sea preceding what I see
and the age of stone and grass that follows it.

I make myself so high that I can see
the overstory’s slanting roof
and the edges of the forest bound by roads
and the last light streaming out of its sides
like water.  

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