Mary Mackey


At nine in the evening
when the light was long
and the air still tasted of dust 
hot as ashes  
we went into the river  together
open-mouthed and naked
to consider the proposition
that air was not worth

that night   our lives
were shadows on the bottom
vanishing in fish
and reeds

think of this the next time 
you let water hold you
how love was once
a short summer night
sweet and despairing