Note from the Editors

 

   SEEING RED 

    ENDU(RED) ADMI(RED)
    DESI(RED) WONDE(RED)
    RUMO(RED) ADO(RED)
    ENAMO(RED) INSPI(RED)
    DISCOVE(RED) SAC(RED)
    HUNGE(RED) WONDE(RED)
    EXPLO(RED) FEATU(RED)
    AUTHO(RED) SEA(RED)
    DA(RED) UNCENSO(RED)
    SOA(RED) ADVENTU(RED)

 

 

    


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White Water


While Katherine drives, I watch rabbits
vault out of the high beams into sagebrush,
then turn, pointed ears aquiver.

The less agile are lumps on the road.
As we run over their bodies, my stomach churns.
The river is waiting, its dangers paid for in advance.
 
Last night, I dreamed I was Rousseau’s gypsy
taking a nap, oblivious to the lion sniffing the air
near her head. He might rip her apart.

He might be her guardian. Look at his eyes,
the gentle slope of back. There’s a beast
on the margin of my dream, a frothing white thing

eager to fling me crashing against rock.
At the river, buckets for bailing, orange
life jackets, cool river men with huge yellow oars.

There’s no way out and I choose the sissy seat
in back of the raft, holding onto the ropes
as the boatman propels us head-on into the narrows.

The river swells, its banks tight as a waist.
We graze boulders within our walls of rubber,
the river tilting, pouring down my shirt,

and I loosen my hold
as I fling buckets of water over the side,
no time to think rapids, think death.


Claire Keyes is the author of two poetry collections: The Question of Rapture and Rising and Falling. Her poems and reviews have appeared most recently in Literary Bohemian, Theodate and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts and is Professor Emerita at Salem State University in Massachusetts.


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