The 2River View  

Erica Wright Listen

Fording Calfkiller Creek

Our better days are ahead, but she doesn’t hear.
The dog has tired us in circles.

We chose this leg, said we could stomach the foaming,
the mean streak, said something about not minding the cold.

And isn't that just like us? I heard of a girl who set out
to bury her brother, found she couldn't lift him, so lifted

a knife to her body instead. It isn't the same thing at all.
Now two bodies uninterred.


The Swelling of a Throat

The way a dress hangs on a woman
who's been sick for months,

the way her dress hangs resigned
to the emergence of bones.

And the man who hauls her bag out
isn't a lover, but someone she's paid

to deliver her, to leave her
by the curb. The way I realize all

at once that I’ve forgotten the details
of a friend’s face or that her face

didn’t always scare me.
Light has torn her skin into fine ripples,

and rest is due. It’s like you said, she says,
and I hate her for it.