by Natalie Crick
I’ve learned to read by the lamps
of women reading on the south coast.
I’ve peered into the darkness,
no matter how cold.
The living cradle the dead
as a hand clasps water.
The lake hangs
like a pendulum under the black sky.
It’s not the first time I’ve stood here,
where my daughter’s bones glow white, where one day
I shall have more children.
Tonight there is not a thing I can do but
walk, then keep walking.
In the same breath as the sugar maple
the lake burns red.
Tell me this is not love.
In the bloody rinse of the moon,
I lean over the water
and let go.