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BODIES OF WATER / Kerry Johanssen Almost ghostly, the way our shadows fall onto this body of water, stretching twice our natural lengths. Two distinct figures shrouding gossamer trenches of waterstriders, eclipsing even the quick parabola of a red-winged blackbird chased by a crow, lighting safe in lush green reaches of the water cedar. Almost grotesque, the way our other selves emerge, darken and widen to consume the surface of light. Even though it's daylight, and our hot white god has crossed the arc of noon, to find us here, solid bodies moving and changing, increment by increment, note by note, skin continually sloughed and rebuilt in the same molecular dance, in the sexual music of this gaseous sphere. This fathomless light, this impermanence cannot heal or penetrate our dying flesh, but at the right angle offers second sight: a dark current of hands on the palette of water, hands blurred by instinct, 74 · The Missouri Review archaic fish diving through the pure horizon of your shoulders, our shadows bleeding through the veil of color. And if I could touch our bodies of water, push the heel of my palm through that fluid tension, how far would the blackness reach— What dance must the other self teach in wordless grammar. Kerry Johanssen THE MISSOURI Review · 75 ...


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