Selfsame River Thrice

Alicia Mountain

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.

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Alicia Mountain’s first book, High Ground Coward (Iowa, 2018), won the 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the digital chapbook Thin Fire (BOAAT, 2017). Mountain is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver where she is an assistant editor for the Denver Quarterly.

Smartish Pace

Issue 25 – April 2018

Baltimore, Maryland

Editor & Founder
Stephen Reichert

Senior Editor
Daniel Todd

Associate Editors
Dan Cryer
Clare Banks
Traci O'Dea
Freeman Rogers
William Camponovo

Assistant Editors
Kristin Lindholm
Clifford Williams
Jared Fischer
Jocelyn Heath
Kari Hawkey

Founded in 1998, Smartish Pace, a Baltimore literary magazine that appears in April and October, and publishes poems, essays, and interviews.

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