Winter Landscape

A woman is / turned into a lake

she is

secretly pleased. Great blue

herons are moving across the sky / and the

body

 

of this twisted oak its / arrowed branches / flung

in every direction / is

now leafless / so that its

outstretched

arms do not / run the risk / of breaking

their own weight / cold sweat poured down

 

my imprisoned limbs wherever / I moved my

foot

a pool gathered / that this water

could bruise me my voice / caught in

bird-call I

  want you to put me in the ground with my

    mouth open / and when we say earth

 

we mean human

earth / foxes have no history transcripts / know not

how their great grandparents

died / and who among us / records / the continual

losses / it is lighter / to be fleshless / a beetle

colony takes three months to eat / a white dog clean

like a hymn / say / I will be taken / knowing

 the bones will

 remain.

 

 

*The first line of this poem is inspired by Jia Tolentino’s New Yorker Article “How a Woman Becomes a Lake.” The other italicized portions of this poem are taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, when the nymph Arethusa recounts how Ceres, the river god, tried to rape her and, as she was fleeing from him, she turned into a lake.