M. Ann Hull
AFTER THE WARNING
The day the river was an iced-over memory of movement.
The day the road was a river of scared-stiff rain.
The day your breath was the ghost of all the cigarettes you'd smoked.
The day your body held a body like a nesting doll of genes.
The day the river was a frigid sickle threatening to carve.
The day the road whispered lies of only asphalt underneath.
The day your breath caught inside of his throat instead of yours.
The day his body held yours in the contours of his sweat.
The day the river offered swap: you in it, it in you.
The day the road apologized for trying, so often, to turn you in.
The day your breath exhaled twice and only one of those for you.
The day your body held a body not ready for a river's mouth.
The day the river's tributary caught her bedfellow by the arm.
The day the road licked its black teeth and gagged on its own taste.
The day your breath tasted snow you hadn't inched a tongue to catch.
The day the body in your body turned over and fell back to sleep.
M. Ann Hull has had work published in 32 Poems, Barrow Street Journal, Mid-American Review, Passages North and Quarterly West amongst others. She has won the Ed Ochester Award for Poetry and the Academy of American Poets Prize. She is a former poetry editor of Black Warrior Review and holds an MFA from the University of Alabama.