broken down
to blood-cell
don’t abbreviate river
what’s yours to claim is not all that remains
if stream’s excess film shines almost copper
don’t call the ruddy body close enough
to touch its clay red, dirt-bed water—once
my mother told me about wilderness
and my grandmother taught her how to tell
x marks the spot the carve initials here
my start letters that rouge clay mud-red
scratch your pocket knife
whittle into the trees
indent away the parts
your own curled signature will be the line
between the things you must and must not keep
in blade and tongue
you can’t pronounce
the scar ruts in my landscape
darling, don’t you try to name the wild
instead bank on the silt
bank on the body scabbing back