Burial

Published in Manna 40, 1994; Honorable Mention, Clark College Poetry
Contest, 1995.


I have walked on sunken roads in Lake Mead,[break]eaten lunch in a submerged tree,[break]stared at a horizon of floating cliffs,[break]water no mirage in this desert.

Glen Canyon Dam killed Glen Canyon,[break]spawned Lake Powell (no son of him who loved[break]rushing river rapids) just as Hoover Dam,[break]World’s Great Wonder, spawned Lake Mead:

deformed from conception, ill-begotten[break]children born with thalidomide bays,[break]blue stumps seeming flat and shallow[break]as mercury shimmering on hot red sand;

yet reservoirs deviant, deep and corrupt,[break]sludge on bottom, scum on top: Glen Canyon,[break]choked by your stunted stillborn child–[break]what foul bag of waters burst forth here.

I have anchored at a tombstone in Lake Powell,[break]held a wake in a sixty horsepower whine,[break]seen black oil wash sandstone coffin walls[break]at Wahweap Marina in this desert.

My hand crumbles wet sandstone; red grains[break]trickle to a watery mound[break]sixty feet under.

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