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  You could have a big dipper   

Before the Divide and Die by Russell Zintel

CW: death

They were boats, coffins and dinner tables

Someone showed us how to pack the hulls with bread

Brushing over the way the sustaining shapes

Doubled as fish

Which tripled as legs, crisscrossed

In braids, set to rise with the coming heat

The ingredients seemed to always be running out

But the presence, showing us the way

Not quite a dock worker or a chef

Managed to produce something scarce

From scarcity, and demonstrate how to eat

It, laying amongst the flopping loaves

Somewhere between dead and sleeping

Always ready to alight to the sea

Stomachs slowed, the way it is hard

To distinguish the metabolism of deep sleep

From the recently deceased

More and more boats were prepared

The wood constantly shape-shifting

Into three separate voyages

It took us all night

Until the sun baked the sky

To see through rainbow scales

How full we were


Russell Zintel lives north along the Hudson River with his partner KT and their cat. His work has appeared in decomP Magazine, Banango Street, Tiger Moth Review, and others.

Twitter @ZintelRussell

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