. . . and they paddled for days, the water
glinting hard in their eyes. Gray
is what happens to blue at twilight.
I know this is how the soul travels,
how we keep moving upriver
from wherever we are—skimming past
trees in full frock, slippery banks, the blind
eyes of houses. He says something to her
and she says something back. Words like stones
tumbled and cool, precise or incidental. Movement
is what we have, water-spray—its blessing.
Around the next bend—catbird whistling
while moonlight’s cold white money fills
our coffers. We pull the pale silver in earnest
ritual—through deceit, lust, forgiveness, the world’s
wild holler—believing this is the way
as we cut the deep green dark, hungering like
the early explorers, hatless, brazen, from glory to glory.
RAPHAEL KOSEK’s poetry has appeared in Commonweal, Silk Road Review, Big Muddy, and The Chattahoochee Review, among others. She is the author of the chapbook Letting Go. Her poetry has received two New York State Council on the Arts fellowships. She teaches American literature and creative writing at Marist College and Dutchess Community College.