On the Flood, Grown More Perilous

by Brianna Noll

I measure the river
in amperes.
Sparks whip
across the surface
like live wires.
The river has swallowed
a pylon, and all
that pylon’s power.
Down in the murk,
the current shapes
itself into parentheses,
like a corn maze
modeled after
a magnetic field,
iron filings seized
in place. We think
we want to feel
the sparks—
dive in and glow.
But we are
not conductors,
electric eels.
Despite our own
small currents—
the brain and nerves
at work—
we are soft. I drop
a galvanometer
into the water,
and it spins
and spins and spins.

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