A River Ain’t Too Much to Love

by Eli Karren

Swipe right for our summer skin. For the sand in our sno-
cones. For sarsaparilla in the sunset. Swipe right
for the radio waves clogged with dueling box fans
and the fox hunters sipping slushies in the church parking lot.
Swipe for all the impossible colors and the unnecessary
words. The freedom in our circumscription,
the constriction of our scripture. Swipe right
for the invasive species. For the cerulean in the sky
and the amethyst at the bottom of the ocean. For all the love
smuggled through wheat fields or lathered
in palimpsests of lust on online chat boards.
Always swipe right for Nova Scotia. For the girl
at the coffee shop restocking the cooler. For her tie—
dye bandana and polka dot blouse. For the ongoing war
between what we say and how we say it.
For this daily seance of reconnection, this kettle drum
laughter and steel string flirtation. For Joni Mitchell
and for Patti Smith, for Johnathan Richman at a barbecue.
Swipe right for this jagged syncopation,
this summer storm, the river overflowing night after night
while we dance in slow motion. Swipe right
for humility of our silhouettes, the way we lay like trees
without the expectation of sleep, how we are lonely weathermen
in front of the doppler deciding what constitutes true romance.

Published on May 21, 2020