In light of the river, the way it turns
Against itself. First a gathering of ice.
Then snow building a false start of river edge.
Tell me what’s empirical: winter remains
At my back, snow turns to rain in my hair.
Tell me how many times today my body has
Worked against itself. Thinking of you is
Something like breath. A slow release of time
Built up in my mouth. When there are no words,
No idiom will do: tie the knot, tie one on,
Cut ties, tongue tied. You are anything
But an obstruction. You are everything
If not each moment before. O
Transitivity. O verb waiting to be.
Nicole Tong is the recipient of a Dorothy Rosenberg Prize in Poetry and fellowships from George Mason University and the Vermont Studio Center. Her writing has been published in Cortland Review, Yalobusha Review, Rust + Moth, and others. Her chapbook is My Mine (Finishing Line Press, 2015). She lives and teaches college-level English in Northern Virginia.