[40] Coolerator, Bonnie McClellan

I once knew someone who could sit still and appreciate death
just as I narrowed my eyes at it.

I see everything white as bone: styrofoam, crushed Clorox jug, strips of birch.
Of course the birch has fallen, of course its skin is peeling.
Summer left with you, of course, of course.

There is no path, the path is muck, I muck
across tributaries, elbows high and shoes sucking.

I trample moths and weed until my knees
get sore but a deeper ache
takes me now, lays me on the banks
of the creek.

Wildlife is what you see when you sit still long enough.
Today, it is: a fishing float, two toned and neon,
oyster fungi, a cold front, the eddies in the current.
My own eddies, marked by watery gasps.

Before I return, I weigh my pockets with chunks of quartz.
I place them on my eyes, hot like a muscle:
two coals, steaming in the winter air.

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