Allan Peterson

Seeing the Yazoo

​Once the dead were just across a river
I recalled that seeing the Yazoo
No boatman upstream but a winch
and a rusted platform
to take oneself across by pulleys and ropes
Cypress on the far side
seemed expectant and gathered at the edge
A shadow was breathing for my shirt

Complex is inexhaustible  The world is
everything and what imagination adds 
You can see how enormous this gets

Instead of crossing we wrote our wishes 
on paper boats and sent them downstream
We had so much left to accomplish and anyway
life and death intersect unexpectedly everywhere
on one side heartsick the other anatomy
night’s huge black pillow leaned against the house

Allan Peterson is the author of five full-length books and multiple chapbooks.