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The River MAG
Our raft slides under limbs, gold, gray, and green
It bumps the tangles of a curled brown root
Then edges around a lime-colored shoot
It skirts off down a gully, then between
Two blackberry storms that rain purple fruit.
Two hours after we lick our hands clean
Of dark juice. My muddy sisters clean
The keel of a sticky streak of green
My sister plucks a spider from the root
Of her yellow-jacket hair, makes it shoot
Toward a murky, shallow pool in between
The tendrils of a grapevine decked with fruit
We pick apart a storm of bloody fruit
And guilty black juice trickles down our clean
Red cheeks. In all the luxury of green
We stop to pluck a berry off its root
Pause for just a moment, and make it shoot
Into the delicious, warm pink between
Our lips. Then the rubber boat bumps between
Water and a rotted log strung with fruit
And moss. I jump out and swing my legs clean
Of the muddy trunk onto rotted green,
Stomping clay over putty-covered root.
I watch a pair of lonely lizards shoot
Away from my foot, over a brown shoot,
Under greasy moss and sharp branch, between
The brown pebbles and storms of purple fruit.
They jerk around on the log's belly, clean,
but for a patch of slime, a poison green.
Finally, they rest on a soft black root.
While watching this show, I trip on a root
And, long arms outstretched, I rapidly shoot
Off, a moment frozen, then fall between
gray, slimy moss and hot blackberry fruit.
The filthy, freezing water feels so clean
To putty-coated feet, caked with dark green.
I'm caught in rotted fruit, under a root
In between the air and a slimy brown shoot
Embraced by the green and the soothing clean.