What You Answer To Thank you, Lucille Clifton. I get city slicker and country bumpkin depending on whose mouth it’s coming from because I won’t watch a buck hung from the rafters drain from the hole in his neck to one in the floor, but I will shake beetles from a honeysuckle to lick its stamen clean. Walk with me along the river that hides the season’s broken hulls and bones, then follow it to the sea. There, my mother’s people call me Clammy. There, I don’t hear the lifeguard’s whistle. There, I swim down and down with a fishing net wrapped around my wrist. Clammy, as in at the beach I’m happy as a. as in taking everything in and working some dull grit into a pearl— getting told it’s just a seed.
– Published in The Fourth River Juvenescence Feature.