At the ending

by Emily Ingle

we tread our river-ice skulls crown to temple
in ink-black leather boots, steel-toed
careful – these are still our most fluid bones,
paper-thin; beneath we are all running water,
sleeping fish and unlined pages, crinkled tissue lobes.
Make fresh footprints, but imagine softly.

Here at the ending there is no upstream, downstream
of left-to-right, paragraphs, flow,
no melting into margins. Just a thudding
deep in the river bed, like the close
of a book between my ribs.

Snowfall quietly storms the last half
of the last page. Language freezes over,
weight of the final line creaking our soft tops.
In the January sunrise they begin
to leak a little what-happens-next.