Sharon Chmielarz

listen and read

The River's Arguments

The river, its arguments smudged
like a wallet from greasy fingerprints,
gives up over its course all carding,
ID’s, unions, obituaries, places
and names, business passed by,
or through,
for the greater happiness
of memory—being
somewhere in time, a role
played out and measured
on flood poles. Year-marked. Especially
in small towns levels are noticed,
in cafes where a river runs by windows
and buries fields in silt every century.
Another, muddy world. A fortune in water.

Had the river a license, it’d declare blue
to brown eyes, silver hair on sunny days, 
height in miles, weight in tons. Born: 
Aught aught aught aught. Old 
when the century was young. Old 
when the century was old. A member 
on Earth whose accent laps over 
and under all immigrants. A member 
in good standing with the sky.

from Love from the Yellowstone Trail

Love from the Yellowstone Trail
Love from the Yellowstone Trail

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