by Jason Walther

My mouth
gurgles words
like a brook choked
by mud. They float

in a pond
like pay, pay,
paper swans. They soak

the water, the scum,
bump into the lily, and drown.

Monks write haiku
on this same rice paper
and let them glide down a river
folded into boats
never read.

I wish I could fold my words
into boats, and not care
if they leaked, or if
the sterns unfold
into tails, waving

for help

before they crumple,
in the middle of a closed sea.

added with permission of the author
July 22, 2003