Tell me how the day enters.
A river, yes, and on its banks a rat,
slicked with blood sticking its back
to the gravel, squirming and squeaking
while koi scales shining line the paths:
one orange cheek-plate glints its currency.
The fish, thick muscles of sun, swim under
the ferryman’s boat, flit long tails, half
their faces chewed away and water gaping in.
One sleek otter head streams through,
sun-muscle flapping in its jaws, mouthing its no-sound.
And the night, what’s the night like?
The river rushes full with birds, their beaks open
and eyes open black
and the cold water rushing—
starlings clutter the current, their little pointed tails spiking
the surface like twigs; cormorants flow by choking,
webbed feet splayed.
River of silent wings.
Ducks press cold breast to breast.
The bloated body of a swan sweeps downstream, and
its beautiful neck drags under, slaps thickly on the rocks.