A flock of geese falls from the sky onto the moon-spackled water and settles into sleep. Even on such solid ground, a hand on the shoulder, memory settled, bent like these bridges, over and untouching, it’s easy to feel the slight swell on which they dream, the swoop of river curves, the subtle unrest of city light missing the water. Sculls spill through the stone bridges towards the glowing boathouses; one with eight pale arms in unison. The parallel oars flash in the dusk as if to say this much is arranged. The sleeping birds, necks low, lay in the soft boat of themselves, unstirred, as the tiny purple light at the shell’s end becomes the only mark there is, purposeful, (why not say like a heart?) Beyond the bridge, around the bend, quick in the night, towards a dock that slants up to the earth, while here the birds, wake and spill their bodies, one after another, to the water, stirring the night surface full of stars.
Elizabeth Crowell grew up in northern New Jersey and has a B.A. from Smith College in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Columbia University. She taught college and high school English for many years. She lives outside of Boston with her wife and teenage children.