Figure-Ground

— Hannah Kroonblawd

Tracing a line from your birthplace to mine,
Turtle Lake ripples just below your shoulder blade

and I follow the striation across your central plain,
slowing past Reedsburg to wade the Wisconsin River.

I memorize the topology of you and it is good—
better, even—the long sweep of skin

rising and falling as you breathe, as I name
each curve of muscle, the north shore

of your shoulder. Farther south
ridges of your iliac crest bloom lilac.

Some call this land God’s Country
and when I splay my hand,

thumb on La Crosse, ring finger stretching
toward your scapula, I am inclined to agree.


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