Oliver Baez Bendorf
River I Dream About

Moon river, swollen river, river of starhole

and bright, harness river, lichen river,

river we velvet with our filth.

River of butter and river of witches, river

cracked open careful like egg, or burst

apart, unleashing its violet load.

River mouths, river beds, every back

forty creek, every crick, made of

trickles, made of synth, river of sound

as vibration, river where we all get free.

River that curve down a backbone,

river through which I particle heat,

feathery and wet, lemony and loud,

river that still smell skin, browned

around a neck, softened with sweat,

river you wear tight on your hips,

given in private, or out in the open.

River I dream about.

River from the inside.

River where we shouts the feeling.

Septum river, bundle river, river of mercy,

sometimes edging so far into night

the moon goes             (…)       dark.

Yes, all night river, burnt sugar river.

We pull the river into our bellies, we

go out walking. We river in darkness

as entire paw prints of color and light.

Everything rivers in motion. River

of holy, river of freaks, river where

my fur belong to me. Softer than

it seem river. Honey and Vaseline river.

Brown river, black river, off the map river.

I will be there, printing textures of rock

on the skin of me, belly down, face down, 

my god, it is good to be home.


Found In Volume 47, No. 06
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  • bendorf
Oliver Baez Bendorf
About the Author

Oliver Baez Bendorf is a queer trans Latinx poet from the Midwest. He is the author of Advantages of Being Evergreen (forthcoming 2019), winner of the Cleveland State University Open Book Poetry Competition, and The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U., 2015), selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize. He was the 2017–2018 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.