Meriwether Lewis on Attraction
Michelle Bonczek

Meriwether spent nights imagining
the two them at the pond, wrists submerged in dark
water, algae bright as April basil, mud slathering
ankle bones. With his brother Rueben he’d caught
salamanders and frogs when they were both little
and now he wanted to share the good
sliminess with Lydia, too, the rush, the thrill
of the grab, fat yellow of a frog so big you
need two hands to nab it, have to sneak
up quick from behind. Lydia squirmed, shrieked
beneath Meriwether as he shoved
the bullfrog’s jeweled eyes to her face. He loved
how the ends of her hair dripped down her kerchief,
how her loosened braids smelled of earth.

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