Self Portrait as Ophelia

by Colin Criss
I pull from the trickle             a black leaf
tripping a new phase                           of the cold water.
It is the thick moment           before spring
when all the months’ dead begins to          decay.
Streams dress           clumps of rot and flesh
with possibility and                glimpsing light.
             How do I know what comes next?
(Pop and frill of mosses, young stalks
and hum-smells).      This black leaf:          I’ll need
to know it then. What music did it make
when it hung from the tree?          Under the stream,
what sound slipped from its edge?            In spring,
what key will my music indwell?
                                                                  My music will be
twice-removed:         strung by the last winds,
fallen,                     and rotted to the from-before and
the back-there.                               The trickle over my body,
my body a marking zero                            or a dead end.