To Sink a Song:

by Kassie L. Thompson


Skipping Stones with Neruda

He stood by the road

While I waded in the field through the spring flood.

He waited by the mailbox

Which never got a decent reply,

Yelled out, "Cuerpo de mujer!"

I picked a red poppie

And boasted, "I am that woman,"

To which he --tired of waiting--

Tirelessly encouraged,

"Yeah, prove it.

Body of skin, of moss, of ardent, constant milk. . ."

Water to waist, I was dry

And thought he meant he had thirst.

I swamply croaked his language:

"Forge me like a weapon to survive myself'."

In his hand the cornerstone

From the base of my pillar tongue.

One fluent toss and it skipped to me

Barely making a splash.

I caught the stone from his sling

And bellowed back a rendition.

But I heaved too heavily

Til his tone forced me undertow.

He, watching the spring flood recede,

Shook a fish at me in frustration.