by Sarah Parker
chipped brown bridge. wide koi pond.
river water floats, brimming blushing
copper pennies. metal draws the sun
down between the green-gold ripples
on the water’s surface. honey-pink bellies
float, soft and feathered, just beneath.
a wildflower skyline braces the brown
mountains, tipping gold hands toward
sun-stained tops. something soft moves
in the rosy wind as brown-haired girls float.
running. fast-beating hearts. a copper-
crimson water burnt out red. swallow, don’t swallow
crochet lips cold blue
one of them cuts across the grass.
over water. her bright blushing cheeks shine
in the golden light, melting sunny freckles
on her nose as she bowls through the
soft rose wind. pressing gold between the
shallow waves. she points her body toward
the sun, lets the light peel the shrunken words from her soft honey chest; gold
leaves sprout from her open hands, crowning beneath her fingernails as
she tips her honey hands
toward shining mountain tops.
puckered fish needle in the eye swallow me swallow me
sew my own eyes shut.
hands in the water, a lily pad stuck to the
edges of her palm. honeysuckle glue.
sweet body soft eyes
crescent fingers curl,
a body caught inside.
river koi body / broad bloated swollen gouged / stolen child / of some other place / ocean islands
twined / kamikaze straits—
you cannot eat
a koi fish. a seine
is not used for
only hands raw.
dirt beneath scales purple green, muddy
almost a sponge, sucking the earth up into its amphibious body, bones,
cropped brain, muscle, vesicle.
blood in the grass fish guts, open in the
mud. mingling. earth.
stone. dirt. rock
against rock sharp,
thin; shank born of
of power- lessness.
lifting a hand, finger to her blush toned mouth, she sucks, swallows.
ugly thing, ugly
eat me, she said. eat me raw. open. bloody.
rotten my body will swell
bloated gouged fold my body
into your mouth swallow me