one’s own estuary

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I slip both arms into my past like a coat soaked
from the inside with something that isn’t water,
a thing viscous as blood or sap so that the
stickiness makes me a sleepwalker with nothing
to lose, and with nothing I step out into the
white on white light under Baudelaire’s injured
moon—heaving the injured air—trying to trace
a river with my feet who are ever-busy chasing
that river which sometimes is trees and
sometimes is sand and is ever-heavy-laden with
mirage; heavy like the coat over my back as it
drips down my somnambulant spine, down my
limping legs, leaving a puddle: the brackish
reflecting pool of was and is that turns my
waking eyes downward—now I see what has
come off me mingling with the earthdust to
make something so new it sings.

Tuck Ledbetter (he/him) is a third-year student at East Tennessee State University where he studies English and Linguistics. He will be published in The Mockingbird Literary Journal in 2022. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing drums for local jazz groups and hiking on the nearby Appalachian Trail.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN