Sarah Aronson

If Not Thirst

If Not Thirst



Then this blood-crescent welling

in a trout’s small eye. The heart



so near the jaw. The water tasted

thin. I kept wrapping my hand


around my own throat. That same

spot on the river called me back.


For weeks it was meltwater

then forest fire. A patch of sun


scalping golden trees. Culling

the understory from the berries,


white spiders crawl out. A crow

wings from the southwest at sunset.


We exchange

in murmurations.


I take in what your good eyes

render. Press my finger to the page,


the page folds, becomes the stalk of grass

I put in my mouth to whistle you back.

Sarah Aronson writes poems and essays from Missoula, MT. Her work can be found in the Portland Review, Yemassee, and Cirque among others. She is also the host of the Montana Public Radio program and podcast, The Write Question.