Skin on the black lake cat-pawed, jellied, clear,

skin-sheet of carpet, dark that holds my weight

for now, my body angel-ed, reaching, spread

like hungleaf once its landing on the ground


gathers one early morning’s worth of wet;

receiving drop, then drop, enough, then drop—

the ankle of stem a waterline, messy,

drawn with a clear crayon, jagged on the skin.


The tickle makes it known when something sinks.

The water’s dark, an everycolor bled

from clothes forgotten, shapeless in the wash—

weightless as hairstrands pulled from long-shut books.


Kristen Kuczenski