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Katrina Hays

Katrina-Hays_June2018.jpgKatrina Hays was an opera singer and river guide before finding her way to writing. Her poetry has appeared in WomenArts Quarterly, Pink Panther Magazine, Bellingham Review, Apalachee Review, and Crab Creek Review, with poems forthcoming in The Hollins Critic. Katrina is a guest instructor at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, where she received an MFA.

The Rain Does Not Stop

St Johns Park, Portland

The mud does not dry
Wet limps down

All the long season bare branches
No room for a lightened heart

This morning great maples
let loose an exclamation of green

Each fingertip sprouts bundles of absinth foam
We are drunk with it

Through the iron street grate clogged with rotted leaves
Water makes small music

Mystery Move

South Fork of the American River, California

Swirling circles on the surface of a river
indicate a tensioned chapel below,
where thick water columns
vortex down, hit rock,
and shoot upwards.

In this place of opposing desires,
she slides into a sliver of kayak,
legs splayed open,
sprayskirt joining
flesh to fiberglass.

Half human, half boat,
her chines are made to pierce
the body of the river, carry her
twirling into the inscrutable
center of water.

This is called a mystery move.

She pauses by the shore,
then enters the roiling,
plants her paddle,
drives her upstream bow edge
to catch the current.

Snatched down into a green glow,
she spins again and again
until she has no understanding
of direction, until
she loses herself.

She holds her breath
and prays
the only prayer she knows—
to be held.
To be let go.

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