Swift-Water Departure

Swift-Water Departure
Aimee Noel

Release me downwind and away.

Make sure the water is moving:
ash floats
and still water makes for a long goodbye.

I would lap against your boat
until a smear line developed
like a mark of Earl Gray in your mug
three days evaporated.

I’d just clump, undissolved, like floating pebbles.

You’d scoop from the lake
my sodden muck and smear me on your cheeks,
painting yourself impervious to grief.

Though you’d try splashing your hand
clean of me, you’d never be rid
of the stowaway under your nails.
You couldn’t run your fingers
through a new head of hair
without leaving a bit of me there.

And then where would we be, we three?

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