Selfsame River Thrice
Bought the kind of discount flight
where you don’t even bring a carry-on,
thinking you’ll arrive to everything
you left behind. How the lady at
Bargain Corner said that at least
once a week someone comes in
to buy back what they’ve given away.
Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t.
And sometimes they don’t want to pay.Walked past the old house and couldn’t
lift my eyes to it. Flicked what glowing
butt of home I had held as an ember
and ground it into the grass I used to mow.Down by the water got carried away
thinking of the spring that a man,
eating a driver’s seat burrito in the
Taco John’s parking lot, left his life
and his truck in reverse. The whole diesel
carapace rolled backwards into the river
so high it drowned and tumbled them
down to the minor league field.
The season hadn’t started yet,
the sand was still uncombed.Stepped over and over into the pool
of guts I spilled before women as offering.
Poking around in the offal of myself:
Here, my paternal discontent. Here,
my queer tupperware childhood. Here,
the meteor shower that spangles my
birthnight, and how I like to be alone
from the light pollution when it falls.
Gathering this up, soupy in my arms—
it’s for you, this is all for you. It was.
It still is, slipping heavy out of grasp.
A wet trout in a wet hand before
it’s knocked pocketknife dead.
Copyright © 2018 by Alicia Mountain
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Issue 25 – April 2018
Editor & Founder
Founded in 1998, Smartish Pace, a Baltimore literary magazine that appears in April and October, and publishes poems, essays, and interviews.