Ira Sadoff

Down by the Old Mill Stream

For instance,
the shallow river was bronze, fish were breathing
along the bank, swelling and deflating, but I don’t remember
the green things — if they were natural/unnatural.
In the right light
you could see through them, the scaly creatures
we came from, the way
you could almost see through the statue of David.
You could almost taste the phosphorescence of the ocean
in that one dented half-rusted tin cup no one gave me.
I would only lie down with one person, and she
had not yet arrived, because that was before
the plane was shaking, before bombs fell, before the apple,
well, jesus, it took a while to figure out the flaws
in that story. Let there be no more in a former life
or I’ve always been under the impression.
Let the mothers keep their children in the shelter
a few hours more. Because there’s nothing like water
slipping through your fingers to teach you a lesson.

Ira Sadoff
Down by the Old Mill Stream first appeared in Colorado Review.