I watch him from my waters, wondering
at what his thoughts may be. He cuts at reeds
along my riverbanks, his sickle an
arc of whistling air, a singing sort
of violence that joins the music of
sawing crickets, clicking bats, and calling
nightjars. He doesn’t realize he’s part
of the night’s quiet symphony: his breath
so hushed, his steps that crunch, his heart in such
sync with mine. I rise draped in river mist
and slip my hand in his, entwining our
fingers. We dance as grass grows long beneath
our feet, and he dies in my arms as I
lead him on, all his music mine to eat.
Elizabeth Stevens was born and raised near Baltimore, Maryland. She uses her poetry to explore the ways evangelicalism has affected her relationship to her gender and sexuality. Her work has been previously published in Spilled Milk Magazine and Prometheus Dreaming, and she was nominated for Best of the Net in 2021. If she was a cryptid, she would be the Loch Ness Monster, because she too would like to hide at the bottom of a lake where no one can bother her.
Image: Ivan Kramskoi, Rusalki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons