the two towers / leah mueller

I died twice, before

I stood beside the river.


Rocks piled like a tent:

large at the bottom, then

gradual shrinking until the

last stone, precarious tip

balanced at the tower’s summit.


Kickstand: standing tall

against the water. Waves arrive

to push the stones overboard.


Nearby, a short tower

on dry land, also stacked

from wide to narrow. The

taller goes first, tumbles

like marbles downstream.


Privileged trees grow far

from the shore, branches spread wide,

while others on the edge

cling tight despite gravity.

The stones have given up pretense,

wait patiently to be demolished.


I died twice this winter, from shock

and the need to remain upright.

I never learned the lesson

of the current. The river continues,

despite my ignorance. I head back

to the warmth of my small room,

my fire and armchair.

The thin ceiling covers me like water.

Leah Mueller is an indie writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks, “Queen of Dorksville” (Crisis Chronicles Press) and “Political Apnea” (Locofo Chaps) and three books, “Allergic to Everything”, (Writing Knights Press) “Beach Dweller Manifesto” (Writing Knights) and “The Underside of the Snake” (Red Ferret Press). Her work appears or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, Summerset Review, Outlook Springs, Crack the Spine, Pure Slush, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, Sugared Water, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.