Mat Wenzel

New Hampshire

 

Mossy rock from the railroad age spanned the river:

always mud, always puddles, ferns, and me.

A deer spoke to me, had nothing good to say

in those scared black eyes. I ran my canoe

down the river like a skinny ten-speed

through the town orchard, like my skinny

frame diving into Pawtuckaway, like baptism—

lingering in this liquid grave to know cold’s heavy arms

holding me one night longer. Instinct kicked my feet

and stretched my fingers toward the light to breathe

and fall from here like there was nowhere else to go.