“My mama’s water / is all water, I’m every river rock / inside her being smoothed over . . .”
The scar that flows from my aunt’s thigh
to the boulder of her swollen ankle is a map
of the Haw River,
each toe a Blue Heron.
My mama’s water
is all water, I’m every river rock
inside her being smoothed over.
The palms of my uncle’s hands
are the Deep River when he is holding a gutted trout.
You saw her bloody
and did nothing
you Yellow Perch.
My uncles sinned openly
fed in the daytime
a White Catfish.
My smallest cousin is a salamander in their father’s
Neuse River arms, legs hanging there
who has ever told me to clean my face
is the Atlantic Ocean.
The shoreline of this beach
is also a history lesson,
these sea shells
have blood on them.
I dream mostly in floods.