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Dawn Tefft

 

The Smooth Surface

The census bureau wrote me in, and all day long,
I’ve wanted to test my sketchy spine.
When I was twelve, I did backbends in the yard,
letting myself fall until hands touched grass
and my body formed an impossible arch.
After rising through all those summers, I don’t feel
I’ve landed on this street and in these boxes.
It’s possible to be trapped in all this open space.
I used to explore the mossy bottoms of puddles
and dive into yielding lakes, and now I’m here.
I’m still running my hands through nights
that close around me like water, turning my flaps
and dives into the subsidence of ripples.
When it’s warm I can feel the water drinking,
the smooth damp air quivering behind noiseless legs.
I can feel my body trying to cut into the softness.
The slow consumption of effort by decay.

 

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