Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito


A stranger stands by, counting the silences.
          You watch him from the bridge, where once

you slipped hooks through the soft bodies
         of nightcrawlers.  He walks along the water

towards the distant tower, and when he turns around
         you see the robe moving over him

is a swarm of bees. When you call his name
         it slips like a boat from your rounded mouth. 

If the river were to flood, it would put out the candles
         burning at the edges of the canal,

but it hasn't rained despite your offerings,
         despite your wide palms pressed together. 

The stranger is but one version of who you are not.
         The river will accept what it is given,

even your body and everything you've done to it.