About the Feature

The Three Bridges on Ohio River between East Liverpool and Steubenville, Ohio


Don’t worry, I promise,
it won’t last long.

They take one leg,
then the other, and hold you

on the table until their job
is done. I wouldn’t lie,

it hurts, the way they pry
you open with their needles

and crooks, but if you sink
into your body and lie

in the muddy shallows
where fish weave

between the grasses
like straw from a broom,

time will pass. They snap
their black bags. Silt

clings to your hair,
the marshy ropes want

to pull you back down,
and the lilies float like clouds

whose anchored tails
will tangle you with their lies

and admire your clothes filling
like a flag. I would come to you

if I could in the green spill
of leaves. Stay with me here.


Image by Jessica Leung

About the Author

Joelle Biele is the author of Broom and White Summer and the editor of Elizabeth Bishop and the New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence.