one, or two, or
enough that counting doesn’t help:
a million poppies, a million rats.
the former is frightening: anything
that suffocates. Once near Chang Mai,
under a waterfall: little silver fish
teaspoons, at first a few and then
a dozen, then the school, the whirlwind,
the river a whisk of tarnish...
the scale tips to shiver,
displacement of water for flesh, flashing
softens the skin, makes the membrane
permeable. As if
they could have carried me off, under
the falls and into— what? Some pure
that close and constant air.
First published in Blackbird, Nov. 2004. Copyright © Lisa Gluskin
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