from my window
you know lake Mendota still sings
under its frozen flesh in January.
you know you can’t wash a song out.
you know the salt
boiled out of the dead sea in summer
must make some kind of music
when it swallows the feet of a couple
of kids playing in the sand,
no clue one day they will anchor,
drown, wade swollen blue to shore.
I thought to warn them, but who am I to ruin
the best hurt they’ll ever know?
what is love without threat
without good reason to fear or run?
what is a lake if its waves do not hum?
what is the skin’s salt water
with no one left to savor?
what is a song if no one will sing it
into an ear they’ve memorized
the taste of?
from Echolocations, Poets Map Madison, Cowfeather Press, 2013