That feeling

Run your body through the lake –
morning, afternoon or evening, make it
once a day, at least once. Then tremble, stain
the dock like the last minutes of a fish, open
your mouth, gaping, tongue agog, drink
sky like berry-filled birds that wheel in air
and then drop, drunk into bushes
again; they want more.

Garden tools and knives can look the same
colour as the ground until it rains
at the same moment the sun shines,
and then they glint like stars. The tricks
light can play before the sun gives in
to the smooth pillows of hilltop.
A boat tears a strip down the lake,
sears us with sound, and we feel lonely

because we were made this way, made
for ourselves, for each other, and for clouds
that muster enough oomph to push up off the lake
into dark sky, half-heartedly cover constellations.
I guess that this taut gullet, the way we shudder
when we swallow and swallow again
anchors us to something, a sense
of somewhere inside of both of us, a
sense of something else. That feeling, I mean.

(last line is from Simon Armitage’s “It Ain’t What You Do, It’s What It Does To You”)

This poem “That feeling” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 216 (Spring 2013): 34.

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