Wedged between prairie plat and river
dammed into a boot of broad water,
life becomes a knot meant to be worked.
Everything seems too big to swallow,
inflexible throat unable to stretch to meet
the awkward size of sustenance. Plenty
of sun blistering the lake face. Pimpled boats
dragging their enthusiasts over humps of wave,
wake an artifice of wind. The tipsy slosh
tripping over riprap. Plenty in murmur of motors
and mowers. The freeway whine that seems
to glide surfaces like skimming bugs alert
to the possibility—above and below—of hinges.
The worked jaw. Fin and wing. Fight
and flight. Plenty of string let out behind
one moving forward. To be tugged down.
Lifted up. Entangled, entwined. The neon leak
of transition becomes an oil spill gumming up
the skyline. A sign spelling loneliness without
the vowels, which makes it unspeakable.
Everything seems too full of hunger,
twilight the lips of a mouth just beginning
to show its set of pearly, perfect teeth.