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Thick green wrinkles of water light under the heavy branches and the air powdered metal, blood-warm, all over the face and neck.

A rope wound in the hand, the rope slung in the branch above the head, and wind pouring over the legs, the legs prickled in the damp, white flecks in the dark.

The air softening into drops of water, falling from the tips of leaves and collecting in the hair, the hair a froth of light, a mist-net of light, and the dark the large shadows of heavy trees, and a shelf of cloud gathering.

Over the water the quick light gust of air, the air the pulse of phlox weighted with water.

Reaching out into the air, and the rope snapping back, shocking the body, the rope stinging the hands, the feet twisted around the knot at the rope’s base, and the flush of wet leaves and the whip-fast pulse of branches.

If you were to see him, running and breaking into the green shadows of wet leaves on the water, if breaking into tree shadow, if the rope creaking with your body’s weight and dissolving before you even touched,

if moving through the air the wall of water vapor bending into a web of green threads, and thick pollen hanging in the air, the wash of light on the river, and the river water thick, reddish, veined with the over-images of leaves and branches, and pushing back further into the ribs and the soft core of the heart, dapples of light.
Posted 11/30/12
Originally published in New Orleans Review (Fall 2012)
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