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Smoothing Stone

In the river it is always night.
Lay flat, breathe by drowning.
Under the water, you can’t see the land on fire.
Become the river’s lung.

Don’t say a prayer, become a prayer.
Lower yourself without help.
There is no gravity inside the river.
Each pebble is another moon.

There is moss, there is a blanket for rest.
The river is dark and the river is cold.
Each pebble beneath you cools the hillside heat.
Understand this bed levitates.

A water snake curls across your torso.
You are an animal, a creature who inhales water.
Your fingers are ten parades of pebbles.
Drown your hands under the water and silt.

The fire is without gravity, it is hair in wind.
It inhales you, it exhales you.
Stay still, and drink the water with your lungs.
Smoke is reflected on the river, smoke reflects the river.

It is always night in the river.
It pulls you to its mouth, the moon’s mouth.
A pebble in your pocket, your skull smoothed by water.
You are stone and you are current.

Robert Krut is the author of four books: "Watch Me Trick Ghosts" (Codhill/SUNY Press), "The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire" (Codhill/SUNY Press), "This is the Ocean" (Bona Fide), and "The Spider Sermons" (BlazeVox). He teaches in the Writing Program and College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lives in Los Angeles.

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