“The natural world is the old river that runs through everything and I think poets will forever fish along its shores.”
—Mary Oliver (1994)
can I fill these words with what is not
intended? with what the river keeps
under her tongue.
with the maps birds carve in my marrow
fill my bones with air
my eye with their dying.
to wait on the river bank
to know what knowing looks like
before it is disturbed.
stepped on. sanitized.
poked with a stick.
put in a vial.
to know the shape of me
nameless— my given names left out
like shoes I was meant to fill.
they gather dew now
it slides down their tongues. I watch them
through this open door where
even the clock wipes its face clean.
Copyright © Daniela Elza. Originally published in the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012).
Daniela Elza has lived on three continents and crossed numerous geographic, cultural and semantic borders. Her poetry collections are the weight of dew, the book of It, and milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.” Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University. Her latest poetry collection is forthcoming with Mother Tongue Publishing (April, 2020).