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North of North

I’m treading shallow water
and there’s moss on all sides of the trees
evergreen
this must be north,
north of north.
“Sometimes I am rock-like
and sometimes I am herring
and sometimes I am you.”
I say this while the water works like wind
upon my eyelashes.
When you are underwater you are always crying
or never crying
and it doesn’t look so blue.
Your boots are territorially based,
rock and rock and mud.
“Do you plan on swimming the whole way? ”
I close my eyes like you don’t exist
like I am being eaten by a bear
like the water is my water and I am dying.
Then I am crying real salt tears
into the real fresh water
and I think of the tree you cut down
and how it cried real maple tears
and surrendered.
“No, ” I say. “We’re here.”

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