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  You could have a big dipper   

Girl in a Green Dress by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

I awoke to water moccasins

in my hair, my feet showing

through my fins, so I took to

land to outrun amphibians,

though it meant risking my

suppleness to grit between

my scales. I gasped at stillness,

forgot to look at the stars,

which are said to be more

numinous than they appear

under water, their utility

undiluted by milieu and brilliance,

so they may guide even

the stubborn. I learned earth

is static yet infinite, if you include

the air they breathe, the sight

of fire in the hills, the mud

that comes after to reshape

the trails and expose the coffins,

the dead continuously pushed

deeper into their nests of soil.

I wanted to rest again on what

is neither bone nor vegetable,

but was confused by birds,

their hollow architecture

like propulsive coral. I am

here to say the legends are

all true: the thirst and allure

is like a hook through the sole;

bulls and wolves become men

and retreat back into hoof

or hide, disguise themselves

in hair or great barriers of ivy.

I am banished from home

and when I speak, my voice

leaves me silent.


Jane Rosenberg LaForge writes poetry, fiction, and occasional essays from her home in New York. She is the author of a memoir, two novels, three full-length poetry collections, and four chapbooks. You can find her on Twitter @JaneRLaForge, or on Facebook at

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