My Arms Turn Into Rivers

My Arms

a poem by Nadine Klassen

Resurfaced Monument, 2013. Artist:  Jovan Karlo Villalba . Oil on stainless steel, $3500

Resurfaced Monument, 2013. Artist: Jovan Karlo Villalba. Oil on stainless steel, $3500

my arms turn into rivers

salmon swimming upstream


blood flows back into the wound


you know where you came from

when you left here


maybe it's just a longing

to hold you for a hundredth time before

you swim away and I count

one hundred and one


look how many fingers my hands have grown

look how I try to make room for more

one hundred and one



you come back to teach me everything about leaving

leave leaving left always


guessing which colour your tongue

would turn next

but it was always colours of autumn

there were always leaves

falling out of your mouth

in the middle of summer

leave leaving left

one hundred and four fingers

I find myself in a photograph

my brother took of me one summer in Spain

the week before I moved out of my parents'

house in a cab

one bag, a one-year-old dog

and only ten fingers

on my river arms

and the salmon just spawning


Photo source: the author

Photo source: the author

About the author:

Nadine Klassen is a 26 year-old emerging writer, born and currently living in Germany. Her poem “I, the Uproar” was published in the third issue of Persephone's Daughters.

Her work has also been published in the Ink Spills Anthology by @Yourheartbeatsstrong. She otherwise publishes her work on social media as @Emma.willows.writing.

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