Our Most Cherished Terrors

Emmalee Hagarman

Every bird here is an osprey,

every kayak caught in mangroves

we must pull ourselves

through, branch

by branch. Our arms

mosquito-bit, red-bedazzled.

We drove beside a highway

brush fire, didn’t mind

the cling of smoke.

Walked on the beach

to the water that drowned

me as a girl.

I lifted you underwater.

Passed a knife from

your hand to mine.

This is why we slept

on the floor: to feel our

bones against it.


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