Salmon mothers in wild rivers
thrash against the bottom
until their name means
a certain shade of flesh,
means you have to carve
your family out of earth.
To the ground
the body is just a boat,
always coming and going.

When I said we should be something
I meant our own color,
some point on the spectrum of light
only we can shatter.
I meant something some call
a miracle, so small
we occupy all its space.
I meant a nest, a muscle, an animal.

Not everything is a map of itself
though we expect the body to be
and sometimes it is.
Follow my arm
to my fingers,
my fingers to the endless
parade of everything we hold,
all the red futures of us
churning on and on.

*Originally published in Rogue Agent.

Andrew Koch serves as managing editor for the long-running online journal Stirring: A Literary Collection and is the author of the chapbook Brick-Woman (Hermeneutic Chaos, 2016).  His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Poetry Northwest, Sugar House Review, Whiskey Island, Zone 3, and others.  A former resident of Spokane, he now lives in Texas with his wife and son.

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