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At Lake-of-the-Woods, you swim underwater
pretending you haven’t seen the things
that make you want to close your eyes.
When he left you, he left you unable to catch your breath.
Your shudder was soundless. A white pine palpitation rippling to shore.
He imitated the gentle only when he had to, and feared
what he couldn’t say.
At the bottom of the bed, there’s a stone.
It can’t last forever.
Stones become sand; sand becomes silt.
If water over shield is a mouthful
of words, a flow from tongue and text, with a vagueness
to the lines, then
bq. you are a barefoot walk over riverbed.
I am a story swept away.
You were quieter, longer than me,
but most of the time I tried.
fn0. Honourable Mention, Diana Brebner Prize 2006
_Arc_ 57, Winter 2006