the dinner toast clang goes back to the sand
from where the glass came. But there’s no glass,
only plastic—discarded buoy
in pond mud. You find them; you toe
the water stomach in hand. Finding them:
losing breath; never having a mouth to breathe. Shut your mouth, you’re catching flies —:tongue
wrapped around a stranger’s body : : or
forgetting you have a tongue in the first place. The bottle
mouth gapes impossibly
small to fit them through—yet they are there, flattened
together, pushing the plastic sides: a dozen
(or a hundred, or a thousand, etc.)
amphibious bodies. You cannot scrape
mud or pond out of the bottle. Blood
fogs eyes and eyes and eyes pressed to the side
of discarded synthetic : : transparent mausoleum. Red glass is the most expensive color, because each piece
has bits of gold.
Born and raised outside Rochester, New York, Erin Koehler graduated from SUNY Geneseo in May 2015 with a B.A. in English (creative writing) and a minor in Native American studies. Her poetry has been featured in Stone Highway Review and Gandy Dancer. Last spring she was awarded second place for the 2014 Mary A. Thomas Award in Poetry, and she is currently a reader/reviewer for Diverse Kids Books. Post undergrad, Erin hopes to find a career writing children’s literature.
Frog photo by Ronald Wilfred Jansen, courtesy Shutterstock.