Loss of Consent
by Blake Hoena

___ ___ ___ ___ ___--an apology

She stands on the bank of the Minnesota
and listens for his step, crunching snow

as he follows the caves of her footprints.
He is a January wind, seeps into places

kept warm beneath sweatshirts and forgetfulness,
pools a kiss in the cup of her elbow, wraps cold

fingers around her hands, rubs an arm across
the crease of belly that's exposed as her shirt

lifts, slightly, with each breath. In the distance,
the river disappears around a bank covered in trees--

their limbs lost the feel for sap last fall. She'd tell
him how he buried her hazel eyes, the curl of hair

over ears, and the twinge, like a soft hiccup, at the end
of her laugh, but his eyes are part-closed, squinting

against the sun's reflection off snow. Through the trees,
she can see a hint of blue and thinks it's the river,

thinks she can see past this moment with him
to where the Mississippi spreads its lips and swallows

the Minnesota, to where the water's sediments
are left on the delta before spilling into the Gulf.

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