Everything that ever mattered
is out in that lake somewhere
turning to muck.
All the chalkboards and the airplanes
and the salt shakers and inkwells,
all the coffee machines,
prescription pads, picture frames,
everything we lived through,
every little machine heart
and machine corpuscle
is out under the water,
and it's not even blue.
It's not even shiny, it reflects
nothing, not the tumid, bloody sun
clinging to cloud's edge like a tick,
not the loons, not the kestrels,
not even the wind--
the water is gray and indifferent
free of dimension, nameless.
But wow, what a party! We've earned a nap.
We earned it with every toast and cheer,
with every candy cane, every burst
of garland and twinkling
coffin hinge, all those things we stuffed
and mounted like trophy heads
and tried to hang on the walls,
knowing the walls were really a river,
and that when we tried
to hang our trophies, they would sink
or be carried away
to the delta, to the lake,
to the grey water
that swallows even the stones we cast
without offering a ripple, a splash;
for all we know, we've been
casting stones at the sky.
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by Bryan Howie
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