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Tonight, the sun gutters down to its wick as daylight strains
          and refracts
in skirls across the lake’s wide water.  
Heavy rollers of rain heave in against headland and tree line;
lightning falls in its slow white script to farmland
   and watershed.  

Still, I know so little of the rain that plays this lake like a snare—
time run thin through the sky’s turnstiles
and all the grief and shrift I cannot hold but do
  moving in from the north.  

What else can I say of these ball-peen hammers of distant
What else can I say of this lake most deep
where the mud newt sups and the black leech dreams
   of swimmers and blood?  

If only I could drop into sediment and murk,
            so much lost
of the heart’s heave through amnion
and the liquid wake and sleep, so much forgotten
of the ocean’s collapse and the skull cap’s crowning
The boom.  The crux.  The good steel bolt
slid home in the flame.  

Here, in these first few minutes of dusk, I say Sunset,
          you take too much—
sun having preened its glossy spoke
and last light departed into the west.  

Here, tonight, I say Land, you leave us too soon—
sky bottomed out; the lake clicked shut.  

                -Virginia Tech, April 17, 2007

Blueline Review, Spring 2009

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