At Dock’s End
The slow ambush
of August
heat, how the hills blur

with it, how the sky
wavers. And
all the sounds

of the world blunted—
hum of unseen
boats, squabbling gulls.

Even the lake’s unsure
of its shores if you look
far off, past the man

who stands in the water
holding up his arms
to you, waiting,

about to count. Already
you know every lake
is a remnant,

what’s left of glacier’s yield
when the world turned
warmer. You know

what rests
on its sepulchral floor—
silt and stone, claw

and husk, lost hooks
and lines. You
have been there before,

playing with your brothers,
a game you call
Drowning.                                                                  

That benthic roar.
Blue eternally.
This is where you begin—

as breath held
in the moment before.
When the man says,

One two three jump,
everything you do next
is descent.

Even
if he’ll catch you,
you’re falling.
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