Summer 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2002 |

Lake

April. Shadows crimson-edged, tattooed with light, corrupt the visible in sweet intimacy. Nature's tamed backyard with ruined barbecue falls toward the sinkhole lake, cricket frogs creaking through the reeds, a brace of osprey suspended overhead, whispery angels in the school of Tiepolo. The lake turns a circle through Ptolemy's spheres, nested one in another like Dante's malebolgia. Decaying palm fronds rust at the edge of dull water troubling the spattered half-sheen. A turtle head breaks gray canvas beneath the quizzical dependence of the dragonfly, then bobs down to the habitation of souls. The loyal angels modeled their fleshy bodies on snapping turtles, never approached except at risk. Subjugation arranges the soul, each night the dark seeping in, roiling like a cloudbank, then rimshot thunder, a scrabble of lightning, the drugged rush and release of tropical rain.

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Photo of William Logan
William Logan’s most recent book of poetry is Rift of Light (Penguin, 2017); his most recent book of criticism, Broken Ground: Poetry and the Demon of History (Columbia University Press, 2021). He teaches at the University of Florida.

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