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The river's nooseConfession

 

 That I have fallen in love with a polluted river

 

Does not mean I wish it to be so – the pollution

 

That is – the love I am glad for, though I suppose this

 

Always-desire-to-save I have known since childhood

 

In some part took me down to the creosote shorelines,

 

Made me walk the rebar beach, saw me spend months gathering

 

Up the ruins men had cast with neglect and haste on its banks,

 

Turning it from the fishing realms of the heron & the sturgeon’s

 

Deep solace to this oily emptiness loud with machines – there was

 

Something in this desperate collecting – a feeling I was less helpless,

 

That my love was active and purifying – but now so many other rivers

 

Have been condemned to such indifference and my poems have not

 

Changed anything I think that love must be larger scale than this –

 

Bigger than a sole woman adoring a damaged tributary by writing it

 

Unheard songs and each afternoon seeking to remove one dead

 

Element from waters that swarm with our ghosts.

The river's chains