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Pickle Me This

May 6, 2010

"Lousy Explorers" by Laisha Rosnau

Lousy Explorers

The river that once slid through this valley
was damned on its course to the sea, swollen
and put to work. Bloated wood– once banged
together to form a house– still floats up;
rusted nails hold nothing down. Trees shift.
shake their roots free, shoot to split the surface.
Imagine a dislodged pine taking the aim
at the underside of sky.

Most things on the ground have long been discovered.
The words pristine and ruin the doubled-sided blade
of a paddle that slices us forward, forward.
Rhetoric is slammed down with pints
in the lodge each night, loggers and biologists
both punch-drunk with it. Under water and in the sky
there are things unanswered– fathoms deep, dark matter.
People are working on it as we speak.

There are those of us who try to go to these places
in our minds. Lousy explorers, we make a mess
of things, strip and exploit, squint blindly at stars,
block what should flow. When feeling lucky or foolish,
we let our guns go off, howl at the echo on the lake,
then fancy our largesse, our heavy grace, and sink
deeper, dream pines loosened, quickly rising.

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