I’m watching sun melt in the pan-flat sky,
a spreading oil on the lake. You stop me there
for dinner, the walleye sizzling up
gold, till fork after fork.
We go for an evening dip,
shampoo our hair, drink
the magnet-colored water for luck
or strength of heart, for swallowing dark
as it swims over Canada.
There’s no narcotic, no coffee
to keep awake, no liquor
but the lake, the lake.
Our pupils are widening black seed,
ants at the picnic crawling in
and out of me. Ticks are the cost
of love in tall weeds — I pay it exactly,
conjure smoke from the fire, seep
into our sap. Now the bugs
have us in their mouths, our blood
turned cassis on checkerberries we ate, feel,
distilling in the moss beneath us,
that liquor from the lake.about the author