CMarie Fuhrman

Issue #
October 3, 2017

Practicing My Aim

Because yesterday I found the skull of a beaver

in the woods where I walk—far from a pond, far

even from a perennial stream—today I am writing

about dams. And I am wondering, as the vacant eyes

of the beaver peer into this early May morning,

into the pine just now being carved by long teeth

of sunrise, about the two floodlights the neighbors

left burning since they retreated to the city two

weeks ago, to their first home and their good jobs

that pay the meager power bill that even now lights

our domestic wilds. And this leads me to wonder

about effluence, particularly when it comes to prayer,

and how pressing two hands together seems an act

of sublimation when supination may be more apropos,

as it was last week when I offered my open hands

to a cup of turbid river water, prayed over by elders

at a ceremony to welcome the salmon back

from their journey to the ocean, even though the salmon

are not returning, impeded as they are by dams,

that keep them from their first homes. And my hands

seem discontent, eager as they are to do some work,

which is why I started writing about dams, and wasted

light and which is why I am wandering about a nascent

pond searching out fist-sized rocks, the kind that knock out

teeth, that black out sockets.

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