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Devon Neal

Decorative Green Leaf with pink stem

How foolish we are to trust bodies

of water. How many times did my bare

childhood feet part the murky lake water

where the sharp edges of stones

slit at my soft soles, or glass teeth

chewed near my ankles? How often

did my fingertips skip like soft stones

on the surface as I sat at the boat’s edge,

life jacket like a strand of muscles at my feet,

the water spiked with spines? On vacation,

I walked among the thunderclouds of jellyfish,

edging along the precipice of drop-offs,

riptide sinews tugging at my limbs,

swallowing and swallowing and swallowing.

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