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[COPY RW] Poetry (2/2): Becca Nelson



Dark water distillate
sucks in broken boards
and red maple leaves,
split sap, downed slash pine.

An empty boat tangles
in a tree where grackles
rise like reversed rain.


The water gleams the smooth
innocence of unbroken glass,
lapping as if to say this is it,
this lullaby, this immortal, mossy
ebb and flow is all there is, all there

ever was. The swamp irises
unfurl their purple sails infinitely,
as they float above where the houses
stood, white clapboard and peeled paint.


Blink and the water
comes and recedes,
erasing neatly the palm tree
where she buried her daughter’s

umbilical cord. Their cottage
set on stilts dissolves in salt
and starlight. Gull-washed
and sand-swept away.

The skeleton of a
rollercoaster rests
above brown water.
The wind whistles
through smashed metal
the same calliope music,
over and over again.

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