7.

from "Additional Lyrics"



What I love is at the center
of a cold, flat lake,
ruby lips above the water, morning
pressed into palm,
how the sun can warm
a bud into breaking
but not a body below.
I walk through summer,
the lake and me,
we share a pronoun,
species of fish, a heart
made from runoff and dregs
of an empty copper mine.
I could live like this forever
if I didn’t belong
to wood,
to ash and pin oak,
the reeds in the shore
need to be trimmed,
the moss in me overgrows the lichen,
the field of wildflowers
covers over the trail
that reminds me
I am going
somewhere,
the trail that tells me
where the flowers grow and twine,
what a space means
where they’re absent, what it means for me
to be led to a clearing,
I should say what it means
for a lake to be led to a clearing,
for an open field
to find itself
underwater, forsythia shouting
into every window
of the small town, fathoms down in me,
what they gave a warning and thirty days to move,
before the dam opened, before they built the levee.
On Min Street, underwater, the kelp rises in braids,
careful,
this is where the bridge begins,
this is where the road narrows
into one continuous stream.
Careful,
the surface tension,
like a heart’s heavy rhythms,
systole and diastole,
glacier-fed and swollen with rain,
takes a lifetime
from a single ripple.

Benjamin Cartwright & Emily Gwinn