Yes you see us

sliding serpentine

in currents    
see us


glistening over rocks


Do we snipe at buttocks

snap up pensile extremities?

Yes, if you say so:

we splendidly sustain our myths

and seed your lasting soughdreams;

the slate black worm that spits

the unseen snake

the stream’s suspended

spectrestick that stirs

snagteeth set to strike


Yes, we swim from deepsea elver troughs

questing instinct     assailing distance.

Sly memory is our covenant.

We slink under surfaces

scan each stretch of stream

reminisce through slimeslick hollows

stabbing sprawling nets of roots

and soft escaping things

with questing snouts


We are slickshimmer fins

swivel eyes and slowly smiling jaws

a glissade

a susurration


Yes, we consume what you seek,

and each seeker is just

but we surpass your hunters

and so survive


Yes, so we are; shadows under sunlight

rivers’ sibilant undulations

wavelengths’ siren songs

ripples’ echoes

the suck

of silence


© Dael Allison


in New England Review Winter 2005