For seven years he has been waiting.
The moon bleeds its otherworldly glow
against the tupelos. The silence of the river
is punctuated by the silence of the sky.
Something is forever feeding: the water moccasin
dropping from the low-slung limb,
the anhinga swimming with just its snake-like head
above the water, the river muscling
past the cypress trees beyond the oxbow lake.
In his dream the lake is attempting to join
its body to the river's: something unspools
itself and washes away, something blooms
and flourishes and then expires. One morning
an entire flock of egrets and cormorants
and herons lifts above the sweetgum trees
like shimmering longing, like knives piercing
the sky to find their way deep into the entrails.
He would read the future if he knew how,
but the swamp burns as choking heat, and the dark
narration of the hours crawls ahead. Some days
the sky is swollen with rain, swollen as the dugs
of the low-slung clouds. He leans
against the wooden railing of the back porch.
What else is there to do? Hour after hour
he hears the water dripping from the leaves.
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