Lake

by lou2300

  DSCN2190

Cloudburst

It’s been raining
for awhile now

–Kimya Dawson

I

There is

the before                    and

                   after

the present           a lingering mass
inching back in
on itself
like a jellyfish washed upon the shore

before death
this was all there is
now we cling to photos
of his cheeky grin
pale hands of
ginger-freckled skin

II

the future is inaudible

a place of no footprints

like stepping on the shoreline of a salt lake

III

the night he died
a storm blew up
and gum leaves shook like pom-poms in the wind

it rained for weeks then

we’re travelling now
across country
to where the earth looks like fire
and clouds conjure the ocean
and all things metaphysical
guiding us
is a bright blue and yellow plastic boat
we don’t know where he got it
(somewhere second-hand)
but it sits wedged on the curved, black dashboard
as though on a rolling sea
pointing to mother-of-pearl clouds
and those cursing under their breath

it was the flood that stopped us from crossing
the highway at Sandy Creek
so we camped on the side of the road
in a constant cloud of mosquitoes so aggressive
their bites could be mistaken for chickenpox
in the morning
his brother swam in the pool of water on the roadside
his body floating
like a snow angel
above the asphalt

Published in antiTHESIS. 21 (2011): 172