Treading Water

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photo by Liz Stewart

A sonnet by Peter Stern

Listen, and soft waves of glass tear pink flesh,

A diluted garland wishes to fly,

She holds idle as pain’d salty tears thresh,

They fill her ears: spirits ask her to die.

 

A maiden travels down a screaming brook,

Her crack’d palms reach for a blue salvation,

Of our hearts, sin ‘twas the only shard she took,

Must we o’er look the hid’n thorns in her skin?

 

Open lips as pink as dianthuses,

A purity envied by Earth, herself,

Eyelashes corrupt’d by dewdrops like his,

Thin fingers lie her on a muddy shelf.

 

Look aslant a brook, there leans a willow,

Filter down, resides the virgin cargo.

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