Today's poem is by Brian D. Morrison


I claim the insignificant, the vital—
this river, these fish. I claim
this is movement. And there's a chance

I'm crossing mud and tongue,
that I'm spent useless in breath
with the crossing—muckgill,

drowning. I say concrete, say unfailing.
The abstraction from any instance
as violent, as precise as so much

history almost waking. Nothing
can be correct. Not a partshiver
childhood, partwater skeleton, nuclei,

seeds, flesh, leaf all dissolved
in murkwater. I tell you
I'm the fish at the bottom feeding,

the bottom of this. Or I'm simpler,
an unmovable log that gathers mud,
gets moved. Leaves.

I am the rising of the lake,
the lake itself, limbs of river heated,
lifting to storm. So many arms, names.

I can tell you. I mean to. Loved ones
have anchored to the bottom with me,
down to the tossed stones, the moss,

the pharyngeal teeth I keep to grind.
I tell you what I need to tell you,
all of me cupped in shudders

I cannot repress. Something larger
has hooked deep in my ribs.
I've hooked in others',

causeeffect, and set. Deeper
than father. I can tell you anything,
Stranger. I choose to speak underwater.

Copyright © 2012 Brian D. Morrison All rights reserved
from Copper Nickel
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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