Boy with Tree Frog

He caught the singer in his hands before it sang,
slick, jumping-like-a-pulse thing in the small cave
his palms made, pliable, bird-boned, blinking other

before it could join the bark-hugging horde that issued,
call by call, day’s dirge, that issued evening, dusk:
the focalized riot of geese calls, then dark

and the susurrus of cupped wingtips cutting water,
a moon above detangling itself from pines, its light
like spilled scales across the lake, like the liquid

incarnation of a god whose first commandment is
release: and so he did, the little live thing, back into
a world that begs to be breathed, not remembered.

Chris Dombrowski is the author of the memoir Body of Water (Milkweed Editions), a Bloomberg News Best Book of 2016, as well as three full length collections of poetry, most recently Ragged Anthem (WSUP, 2019). His poems have appeared in over a hundred anthologies and journals including Guernica, Gulf Coast, Orion, Poetry,, and The Southern Review. For the better part of two decades, he has taught creative writing to a vast array of age groups, most recently as the William Kittredge Visiting Writer-in-Residence in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana. He lives in Missoula, where he guides the rivers, directs the Beargrass Writing Workshops, and makes his home with his loveably feral family.