after Iris Cushing I am a lake of very small things sealed: frozen fishhooks, car gears, cans, airplanes, what knives I’ve held… When they swim to my center, they see the worth of my walked-on water. It thins. Their wrists have nails. I’m swallowed up upon the surface this lake reconciles around. My hard magnet lie. Because tailbone tunnels crimped against winter carve through to thermoclines I cannot place until spring parts the ice’s side… Because my heels make another head press down in to the powerful melt… This same lake was an age of ice. The dark discarded shore starts and thins to it. Otis Redding pulls smooth thickness through the underside of that effort by which he draws heat beneath the air I died in.
This poem samples and rearranges words from Iris Cushing’s poem “Because This Winter I Am the Same Age Otis Redding Was When He Died” from her book Wyoming (Furniture Press, 2014).