Samadhi and The Genesee River, 2 poems by Victoria Korth

Photo of stains on cement
Photo by Fred Wilbur

By day it hides in the bones,
disguising its rich scent with worry and talk.
At night it falls lightly, dips fingers in water,
crosses itself on the steps of a shuttered church.
The hand tingles, cool as quartz
in an atmosphere of stone and wood and wax.
As a child it dwelt under the skin,
then beyond the edge of a paperback book.
Now I bite the inside of my cheek, taste metal
where it tries to form words.
It is promise, night blooming flower,
jasmine tree at the end of Rose Lane
where I waited, girl unseen in the dark.
We are a lit fuse, she and my first stranger.

The Genesee River

              for A.C.

passes through the city and over the place
I learn you were found days ago,
drags skinless trees from a lower county,
spinning them clockwise like empty canoes.
In summer, it is opaque with farm-wash, algae, soil.
Today its light brown swirl has swallowed the sun.
When you did not come to your last appointment
I waited, then called your mother.
How many times had you turned up
in the hospital, at her place, around the corner.
Standing at High Falls now I long to know
where you stood, what you wore, the last loop
of your thoughts, but only feel this falling
and turning and hollowing beneath a cottonwood,
and hear a troubled river, confused by grief.

Victoria Korth
Victoria Korth is the author of two chapbooks, Cord Color and Tacking Stitch. Her work has received numerous awards including the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize, Streetlight Poetry Prizes, and others. Recent work can be found in LEON Literary Review, Stone Canoe, Ocean State Review, and elsewhere.

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