How was I to know walking that the forest
around us would deepen and black out the stars?
But we could hear the river the rustles in the brush
You pulled a lump of clay from the ground
It glowed blue smelled like rot—
a lump a light to see by
That’s licorice fern I told you that’s skunk cabbage
and there’s a used-up fox The lump in my hands thickened
once you saw the fox opened on the ground
Grew too big to hold I stretched it draped
it over my shoulders tied it around my waist
but it was heavy and I sank to the ground
put my head to the wet ground
Leave it you said let’s go It stank like the spent fox
But I couldn’t I needed it now
I stretched pulled hollowed it
into a boat I heaved in the river
Get in I told you scared now but you
would not get in Let’s go I said
but I would go alone
Go down the river and out of you
unable to remember—had you pulled it out of me?
Had we found it when we woke?
Had we made it? Had you put it in my hands?