Lake Flats and Lake

Written by  Joel Long


The lakebed is vast gray.  You see its swell—

old planks of the old dock grow fur,


                    salt.  The water,

shallow, doesn’t move, doesn’t mind

looking like

                    anything else, smokestack or

airplane, smaller storm that never comes.


If it weren’t this cold, I could walk a mile

into heaven’s water, feel my

                                            legs disappear

into  sky and its wolven gray.  Near,

weeds turn paper in warm December,

a turquoise faucet, valves turned mineral

lies in black rocks laced with gull bones ,

feathers, seams of white quartz.  A water glass

is filled, broken from

                               this faucet, a hand

washed, shimmering with water, cold

to make skin

                    retract. A pitcher is filled

and mountains turn their peaks, pull

the sky to our feet again.  Faucets of the dead

pour water so sweet it

                                makes your teeth feel

roots in the jaw, pinned to the darker nerve

behind the sun where

                               ghosts make blue.  


Additional Info

  • Location: bonneville lake flats