Nina Puro

after a story by Ramona Ausubel


This is how an arm grows
into a river: when you fall in
love a new tributary branches.

We are all drawn thin, drawn with shaky hands.

Come love, a candle lights
in a darkened window, then floats down a river.

Some keening floats inside the hollow        
where the ribs knit together, then
snaps up in the dark, a packed swarming

the way a waterfall running backwards
would fall as it rises.
If love had come
I would have more to say, maybe.
I know a piece of what went wrong
and I am trying to get out.

Focus hard enough, rafts all around—
a chipped mirror, a teacup, an arm to grab.
A patch of sky worn thin, gold.

A bed can be a raft, a cliff.

Love comes as a hand that worms itself around the heart.
How can I move? How can I hold still?