Valediction for the Lake of Small Silence by Bethany Carlson.

How this lake Collects hearts, incredulous

at the thick of its seam; how you might tremble

to know the rind at the water’s bare edge,

surfaces zeroing across the mezzo.

Beyond the sandbar’s reach, trees exchange

glass teeth & shades of Red. How she is saying Open,

Open wider. This is what it means to be created:

the water, in relief, moves across the frozen

dome of sky fraught with sky. I know it’s vague,

she murmurs, the trees leaning in to listen; laissez-faire,

their singular arms, the rustle of this deep lake. Segue

to last night, the same arms falling in unison around her–

soon these winters accumulate like souvenirs,

pairs of wings (tepid, indistinct) caught on the passing months

while the Lake of Small Silence continues to love her

& love her, the freshwater charged with cinema. 

Bethany Carlson is currently studying poetry in Indiana University’s MFA program. She has been published in Memorious, Washington Square Review, Cream City Review, Bellingham Review, Night Train, Diagram, Drunken Boat, Ruminate, Juked, Boxcar Poetry Review, among others.

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