the madrigal, volume iii
We Followed the Mississippi All the Way Down
by kelli lage
until rapids would be shooting from our ears
and sand clinging to our fingertips
as if we held the childlike touch of a castle builder. Currents mark us as castaways,
yet we rise to a dock alongside the ocean.
As I stood above landscaped rain, my knees buckled
but the heat on my best friend’s skin bowed to the waters. The young freckled girl next to us didn’t think twice before giving herself to the deep blue.
we jumped into the velvet covers and became saltwater.
I taste the minerals of earth
that have dripped into the tidal concave.
The water crashing into her hair,
mistaking its sandy tone for the beach.
Sea creatures questioned if she held glory in her palms.
I feel the dark side of the sun
and the ocean’s bellows chatter in my teeth
knocking them out.
I spit into my hand and saw a necklace of pearls.
I strung them around her neck.
Kelli Lage lives in the Midwest countryside. Lage is currently earning her degree in Secondary English Education and works as a substitute teacher. Awards: Special Award for First-time Entrant, Lyrical Iowa.