“corrosive with nostalgia”

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from Lake of Two Rivers
Anne Michaels
Pull water, unhook its seam.

Lie down in the lake room,
in the smell of leaves still sticky from their birth.

Fall to sleep the way the moon falls from earth: perfect lethargy of orbit.”

Sensate weather, we are your body,
your memory. Like a template,
branch defines sky, leaves
bleed their gritty boundaries,
corrosive with nostalgia.

Each year we go outside to pin it down, light limited, light specific, light like a name.

The longer you look at a thing the more it transforms.

We do not descend, but rise from our histories.
If cut open, memory would resemble
a cross-section of the earth’s core,
a table of geographical time.
Faces press the transparent membrane
between conscious and genetic knowledge.
A name, a word, triggers the dilatation.
Motive is uncovered, sharp overburden in a shifting field.

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