The Duck Pond


                      on the hottest night of the year
                                   lifts itself up and floats in the air
        The teens come
                      at the tail end of a sweltering August
                      to watch the liquid mass
                                   unslurp from muddy foundations
                                   hang four or five meters in the air
                                   illuminated by headlights
        The pond rises and sways, wind-rippled
                     a gelatinous mirror ball waiting to fall
                                  shatter back to earth
                                                in a glittering collapse
        The ducks
                     sleep on the shore
                     quacking and grumbling
                                  at the rowdy teens
                                                  hooting and yelling and cartwheeling
         They dare each other
                      to go down into the muddy lakebed
                                   and stand for as long as possible
         Except this year it is two boys
                       who hold hands and squelch their way across the ground
                                     looking up into the shimmering blob
                                                   full of shadowy fish
                                                               darting around
                                                               confused by the whole thing
         There’s a way in the south
                      where the heat sticks to you in beads
                                    the air over-infused with water
                                    bodies become permeable
         Already, those two
                      are expanding
                                   tethered to each other
                                   steeped in each other
        When the water stops rising and breaks
                     they are ready
                                 they are already

Finalist, the Poetry International Prize 2022
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap