it comes up like the turning of the pond. 
gunk floats to the top, teeming with life, cleared by wind and rain.  
my shadow leans over the water and watches, 
haloed with sun like a light left on. the story this time  
is that his cousin went to San Francisco in 1989 and 
he got hit on there, and he came back and months later offed himself,  
not because of the come-on but 
because he saw in himself he wanted it.  
allegedly. this is the only one I’ve found, so far.  
in a different time when I hadn’t already broken the ties that would drag me down 
like a millstone in water, maybe that’s my branch of the tree. I wonder. standing in the water
me with the autumn leaves and sumac showing through him like little injuries, 
he doesn’t speak a word, doesn’t offer explanation to a man he doesn’t know. 
I raise my hand and check if he moves with me, and he doesn’t. the black 
shadow ripples with the wind and the light and all the autumns I thought of  
dying and didn’t.

endwell is a third gender writer, composer, and graduate student originally from unceded Onondaga territory (Central New York). Under a pen name, their writing has been published in As It Ought to Be Magazine, The Apothecary, and in Your Body is Not Your Body, an anthology from Tenebrous Press. endwell’s other poetry can be found at endwell.itch.io