sap of spruce for its scent   stab a pustule

   throw stick in lake   watch it spin  

reaction leaves a trail   direction is only relevant if

   you know where   a triangle of ice breaks off    

you want to go   from the whole

     floating until it melts   waves carry dead leaves

surface   i press flesh

   into inbetween   settle

slats in the deck   bone through flesh to wood

   an imprint    to decrease encounters  

to soak up heat   a raven calls to unfurl

     eggs underwater begin to wake   salamanders wait

under leaves to let go   awareness heightens  

   am i spending time or passing it   pull a card

if i am in it do i feel it   or   is it only a message  

   one is missing   wind catching the corner of my shirt

caught in the corner of your eye   my relation to that which is outside  

   i want a philosophy of flight   that has nothing to do with arms

i want another translation for what is holy   from ice to water & pulled equally  

   upwards as it sinks   i want  

& therein is   the water’s collection  

   everything is a little bit unsettled   only the edges  

incidents change   to matter  

   i tilt my hips & get closer to the edge   upside down

insides closer  

nina jane drystek is a writer and performer based in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory. Her writing has appear in print and online, and she is the author of the chapbooks missing matrilineal (above/ground, 2023), a:of:in (Gapriot Press, 2021) and knewro suite (Simulacrum Press, 2019). She is one of the co-founders of Riverbed Reading Series and writes collaborative poetry with VII (authors or two chapbooks). More: + Instagram @textcurious