river flood plain, washed over.
tropical seashore and swamp, volcano.
uplift and erosion: as if these were tender
words, a lover’s vocabulary. as if I were to say
arteries and veins or in this region water-cut
to catch all of its rain and sediment, I walked
down to the beach, tried to recall a history
of morphology, like architects
who concern themselves with rain.
salt I think is what lies at the center, a city once farms by the shore.
tide starts making its way back into the wild
between breaths, beginning at the laundry outside my window.
land reclamation, a project of migration. they worry
about the texture of a city underwater, but I know
throw in a seed,
the brine will reserve my body in five successive ponds
Jennifer S. Cheng received her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa and her BA from Brown University. She is the author of a chapbook, Invocation: An Essay (New Michigan Press), and her writing appears in Web Conjunctions, Tin House, the Collagist, Mid-American Review, Seneca Review, and elsewhere. jenniferscheng.com.