The Valley – Zoe Dzunko

Now that we have mapped the Ocean it is just so much more
difficult for the boats to disappear. Even so, our phones died
in tandem that first night, we smashed the bottle neck open
against the sun spoiled steel of the barge. And the wine poured
freely as all of those rivers, now redirected, might swarm to one
arcane place. Today I would notice that this swing bridge
to nowhere was not dismantled; that the asphalt tearing
pines were left to tower the valley. Their spiny fingers leaning
in and covering invisible mouths, as if to promise a secret
well kept. Only then, I had never dreamed of being hidden
by the cover of another body so completely – the freeway above
seemed to silence itself. We will never go missing in the city
but your hand on my leg felt close enough to a great endeavour
that it slowed the tide. And if the ocean could be tied down
and concentrated into one place, its salt collected in homage
to freedom, this might be the inlet. I would say the moon saw
us, but nobody else could; I will tell you the city plays its sad
song, sometimes, and we thrive despite it.