Leveler Poetry Journal
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Wolves Change Rivers


Sometimes I read a line from a dead poet and think, wow, we must’ve lived our lives in a particularly desperate way to arrive at the same echoed line. Sometimes I scoff, how unoriginal we are in loneliness and in love.  Will we ever change? If I could do anything at this very moment it would be to walk all 720 miles to see your face exactly as it is, through the window when you’re unaware of my presence.  Would the corners of your mouth mimic the smile of a dead actor? A river? A vein? I’ll never know like you’ll never know what’s really going on in Turkey. I want to hold your heart like a plum pit I extracted from the windpipe of a fat man—all spit covered, unstrained, and round like the earth. I want to hold you like a brass trumpet, like a tree branch, like a dead bird I am offering to the sun and the rain, like I am important and you are beautiful. Those seem like original gestures, but I know they’re not. I can’t live by poetry alone. I can’t live by my own two hands.  Can’t live alone on the fruit the pit bears. It seems silly, but then it does not. I used to be something else—a sad, lost beetle, and then I was not. How do you explain that? Love. Wolves change rivers.

Rae Hoffman