I am standing just off the sidewalk. I’m afraid of trampling
something. something that will make no sound. I have not
learned what can handle the human footprint.
the ripples of the olive-colored water make no sound. in the
time I’ve been standing here, they’ve moved in four different
directions. now I navigate by other than east, west, north,
south. by uncertain actions.
there are layers of mud around the lake—each colored ring is
distinct. thick mantle, outer and inner crust. the water is the
core. this is not symbolism. I am trying only to describe.
a no swimming sign. water’s slow progression toward me.
collecting symbols, signifiers. we place a sign at the accident
site to slow.
Janelle Adsit‘s poetry has appeared in publications such as Sixth Finch, Confrontation, The Cultural Society, and Lalitamba. She lives in northern California where she teaches creative writing at Humboldt State University. www.janelleadsit.net
Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Ceasura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.