Water we cross over. Water we forget. Water
we throw on fire without regret. Water we step into.
Water we skip stones over. Water we make steam.
Water hard as salt. Water slipping blades between
slabs of sandstone, shale, and slate. Water you
are made of, mother. Water of little, littler, less.
Water wash away. Water in the gutters, in the eaves.
The swan in the mirror. The rain in the news.
All night we sleep inside it like stowaways.
Jeff Oaks’s newest chapbook, Mistakes with Strangers, will be published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2014. A recipient of three Pennsylvania Council of the Arts fellowships, Jeff Oaks has published poems in a number of literary magazines, most recently in Fourth River, Prairie Schooner, Rhino, Field, and Mead. His essays have appeared in At Length, My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, and in Creative Nonfiction. He teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh.