river brittle

Dark thing,
make a myth of yourself:

all women turn into lilacs,

all men grow sick of their errant scent.
You could learn

to build a window, to change flesh
into isinglass, nothing

but a brittle river, a love of bone.
—  Jennifer Chang, from “This Corner of the Western World,” The History of Anonymity (University of Georgia Press, 2008)
Only once, under the stars,
where the summer and the river met
between my brittle ache. I said that
it would be okay, if you kissed me
like you’d never been swimming
before. If we drowned together in
ocean wrought silence, the azure 
levity of pulsating waves, how we
strangled ourselves like cranes
on the dashboard and docked like
seagulls sipping sea spray  
medicine, and our mariner
hearts shipwrecked onto the 
cavernous ceiling of melancholy.
How you promised me that the 
currents would change, and we
would wash our hands clean off 
all this blood we’ve hailed.
—  Jupiter Reed, “Panacea” || one word requests