by Stephanie L. Harper and Robert Okaji
I remember what I cannot say
in the moment before
I somehow say something else,
but like a river reversing course
seeps its brackish warmth
into crisp mountain runoff channels,
my backdraft, too,
to stifle the resident cutthroats
along with their prey.
Nothing will remain safe for long
from the toxic sediments I bear
the current’s translucent
promise to rush me past the crest
of undulant reeds between
the salt marsh and open sea;
for no twist in the shoreline,
nor cloudburst’s surge could un-speak
from its collapse
into the ocean’s black throat.
“Flux” first appeared on Underfoot Poetry, and is one of several pieces (with more to come) written during the past year in collaboration with Stephanie L. Harper, whose wisdom, patience and good humor enrich my life daily. Thank you, Daniel Paul Marshall and Tim Miller for taking this piece.