5TH ISSUE LITERATURE

Dragging the River

Dragging the River
Robert Okaji

Knowing the truth of it, he marvels
at the red grape’s resiliency,
how it contains itself even after
a fall. What matters, what doesn’t.
Those simplistic thoughts
dissipating in the coffee’s sad
swirl. And what they wanted,
truly wanted, even more than
that first plunge of lips to private
flesh or the forbidden highlights
in the book of dreams never to
be opened. He looks over the side,
but can’t divine the message
in the brown ripples. A wine bottle
bobs by, followed by an inflated vest
and two snarled branches. Everything
revealed in its time.

Robert Okaji is a half-Japanese poet living in Texas. The author of five chapbooks, most recently I Have a Bird to Whistle: 7 Palinodes (Luminous Press, 2019), his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vox Populi, Riggwelter, Kissing Dynamite,North Dakota Quarterly and elsewhere.

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