by John Quinonez

I feel as if I should tell you
That I have never yet, seen –
A Beaver in the Wild/
but have, for sure seen plenty things:
-Too many a shrub and quail, 
-Elk drunk at the Waterfall, 
-Horses arrogant in the sun
-So many a video of Fruit Bats gnawing on…Fruits.
-So many dams Made by clawed hands, or less clawed hands.

I still strong-arm the river 
at the diaphragm in wanting – and choke/
Think I grow more confident in 
The frame I wake in –
Every rock turns and shifts to coerce the spirit Outside the Vessel & up the 
The shore pregnant, affirmed.
Hope I am loud enough to Beckon help
As the water’s edge keeps climbing.

I’m sorry – it is rude to Think me a river.
I fear the space I take knowing my Gender both me and coursing,
but want not to Scare whatever gets Swallowed by my shadow. 
I’ve been swallowed,
and have seen all not bashfully shroud by my lashes –
Sometimes I burst in a partners mouth And a dam breaks –
Floods all my being With heavy hand. 
I do not hear it coming/
go warm as doubt drowning, &
hear my name called to me over crashing timber, This Time.

It is enough to keep running by morning.
Enough when my friends call me a Mother in earnest. 
It is a truth with heavy hands,
Lapping at the levee without relent,
But Most Times 
I cradle my stomach in rushing water and do not feel a Fertile Shore.
I weep and search the mirror for a place to rescue my wanting/
Wonder so often if all who love Me must breathe water,
Or just as unlikely make a home
in my body By their mouths
Or clawed hands,
Or whatever will a wild thing has 
To take shelter in impossible places.

I had not yet seen one for me
in my wandering – this being that
treads stream and earth confident
//without fear until just here in my room –
Through the eyes of another.
Bless this Babe of the Wood with
soft touch that makes all of my landscape Proud And Untethered.

I’ve held this force of nature – 
& every minute knowing the deficit of
The sense to believe those close/in love –
Without always seeing &
It is enough of a miracle
To hear your name from a loved one’s
Mouth, to trust//breath and well,
I suppose I could have led with just that.

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