Grave of a Missing Woman

Kristel Rietesel-Low Click to

Kristel Rietesel-Low received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Plainsongs, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Woods erupting
With turkey tail fungi
And Touch-Me-Not,
You know this:
The stream overflows
And goes back again.

Going back again,
Purple Judas trees open
In clouds, the heavy scent of
Bloodroot and unblinking
Stare of Doll’s Eye
Following gradually.

Following then
That this is no-man’s-
Land electric with nettles
And the violent proof of burs
That drop off eventually—who
Traffics half-waterways?

Those who traffic half-waterways
Under doves nestled like water
In the crooks of trees know
Minnows sew shadows to sandbars with needle
Flash, the doves mourning for no reason
You can decipher.

You can’t cipher
Their explosion into non-water,
Wings bursting, into this: the way
The lone wind comes, rustles
One blade of grass, begins
To whisper, I am here.