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Poetry: Congaree Crush

She is like possumhaw or sweetgum: panacea

in concealment, plays at languor, crescive

even in black waters. She is champion loblolly,

300 years, tucked away, southern rains.

She is unconscionable. I could be:

lightening bug (Morse-code in her ears),

banana spider (on string diaphanous, my web

floodplained glass in her chapeled arms).


To see her as she is, you need wings. I want to


water-stride aloft meniscuses

rising round roots. I am neither bat

snug on her throat nor lissome zephyr

nursing curls of hair. Not toe-pink salamander,

not oxbow lake. I am no great occlusion and

cannot fathom what it is to be a warbler

housed in her knees each spring. I can only say

as she breathes the same sky,


this moment I hold her in my lungs.


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