r h p
B r a d   R o s e

Low Country

Neither comatose nor awake,
in a low country emptier than the heads of Russian dolls,
I navigate this colorless element, this fierce corridor,
where I listen for the voices of fish,
the slant squeak of earth’s dark spin.
Overhead, a river of black sky,
as undone stars flail their faint fire.
I levitate in lost time
that otherwise could be used
to search for survivors.
Here, on death’s island,
I’m an ink ghost marauding an unlit house.
Back home, it’s probably today, already,
where everything is relentlessly me.
As I plot my return, I soon discover
that a dream, like a map, always leaves something out
—tiny details, ulterior forces.
The closer I approach day’s bright horizon,
the further from sunlight I inexplicably recede.