Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Earth and Water

Every metaphor wants tribute
In the form of substantial facts,
But only the fact of tribute
Transmigrates, transubstantiates.

Traces of each story are left
Ghostlike in all subsequent tales.
That's what geographers are for,
But we don't need geographers

Anymore. The explanation
Our mind has supplied in the course
Of reading about boundaries
Will have to be enough for us.

I sat on the surrender bench
Watching the lake's waves, half-hoping
To see a selkie's dark, sleek head
Emerge from the snow-shouldered surf,

But I saw nothing, nothing new,
Nothing but the ordinary,
Strangest and hardest to forgive
Implausibility of all.

Or I never sat on that bench.
In fact, I slouched inside my car,
Collecting quotations to maim.
The rest of my memory's truth.

I saw what you might call water
While placed on what you might call earth,
And I was so sad I offered
Tokens of mud for forever.

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