The Young Archaeologists

by Isaac Knapp


On a day of green fever, we creep through the weeds
lustrous as crickets, seeking the river. Summer sky
nailed to horizon and stretched tight as drum hide.

You and I uncover ourselves, to the delight of maple,
oak, beech, hide our things in the underbrush. The beach
a stony stretch riddled with shards of glass. Gingerly

we part the borrowed blue skin of the river, plunge
to the muscle, brown water flushed green with algae.
We lie within the water, it reimagines us. New bodies

emerge to the bank, seeking the past in shatter:
broken bowls, porcelain licked clean by the current
ceramic bouquets fed forever by the waves. Piece

green as forest underbelly. Piece with glaze cracked
and fenced with rust. Spots of indigo and rose. Bone
white pottery streaked through with gentle blueness.

With eager fingers we loose them from the stone
begin to rebuild the past. We glean little, only
that all is prone to break, and wash away.

We feed our small histories back to the river
and stand in this moment, beneath tree shade
striders leaving brief remarks upon the water. 


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