never more

than the ferns crouching

around your summer sweat.

how many times

will i say, forest,

but mean, your limbs?


the river bottomed

out on the surface

of your palms.

you cradled it

gently, you cradled it

like your blood

was still precious.

you cradled a river

with the slipping

sigh of earth

meeting water.


i sighed the day we met.


Jade Riordan is from northern Canada; she’s currently attending university further south. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2, The Fib Review, Half Mystic Journal, NōD, Right Hand Pointing, the anthology MicroText 3 (Medusa’s Laugh Press), and elsewhere. She is a member of Bywords’ selection committee.