The River Collector

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Poem

Submitted: March 21, 2018

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Submitted: March 21, 2018

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THE RIVER COLLECTOR

By A. Guinevere Kern

Copyright, A.G. Kern 2001

 

Dark woman, I only rise at night.

Like the dappled moon, which, moistened by my presence, 

Is a witness transformed from dull celestial rock

To fluid mercurial art.

He drowns and scrawls his signature

Across my face, like a benediction.

I'm wearing my best stars for the occasion.

The pine-tinctured wind and days of steadfast rain

Agitate my skin.

Storm-stroked, I bloat with longing, 

Dilating outward like the shadows of a halo.

Bats and birds, I rarely gather.

All others: mine.

Even lightening honors my invitation,

He moves through me like a seizure in the brain.

I like him.

Finger by finger, muttering through reeds, rocks

Brambles and fields,

I abscond with the human desirables.

I want all of my descendants returned to me.

After all, their bodies bear more of my essence

Than earth or chemistry can claim.

They're *mine*; I was the initial womb.

And the sacred peaty leaves, the abandoned boot,

The capsized boat, the breathing creatures

Living or dead, I want them back.

I digest these candidates with ravenous respect

Before the writhing worm feast,

Before the rot transaction can commence.

I am far more considerate, you see.

And many choose to park their deaths in me.

I keep a skeleton in my throat, still

Clinging to his chains and concrete mask.

I want more than the treasures of silica, sludge and fishy populations

Stirring around in my veins.

I need their blood.

The thought of this reunion excites my depths. I swell,

Gnawing on yards of earth and sand, bank and hollow.

Indiscriminate Hunger,

Night after night

I swallow houses, horses, barns, plows, cars, cats, pigs, cows.

I am the River Collector.

Moss Green and scarlet-freckled, like the Bloodstone

An inventory of my deep domain would certainly reveal,

The missing bibelot of her pelvic bone,

The broken amulet of his noble skull

Which I found such a challenge to pronounce.

They must think I like their dismal offerings

Of toxins, plastics, bleach and gasoline.

Styrofoam, beercans: the cultural detritus of excess.

But the soggy remains of seed, stump, fencepost, chicken wire

Are not as salty pleasing as their living human blood.

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