In the Lake

25-nimue-lady-of-the-lake-by-raipun.previewThe catfish are the Bozos of the bottom,
Blundering from ledges, bumping into me,
Their whiskers slashing my skirt into circus pennants.
Their heads are rocks split across the middle,
Mouths opening slowly as if levered.
They are ugly and regal and harmless,
Even when I forget where I am and startle them
By lifting the sword from the sand
And sending it to the surface before me.
The bass scatter. I speared one once. Continue reading “In the Lake”



454px-The_Beguiling_of_Merlin_by_Edward_Burne-JonesThe place where I found to rest was thick
With chamomile. I lay my head against its spongy,
Fragile stems and closed my eyes to the ants
Intoxicated by the scent, climbing toward heaven,
Or what an ant can know of it.

Soft, soft. Come now. Leave the door ajar.
Nimue, Nimue . . . you are not swift enough
You linger, come away. Leave it.
Leave the door ajar.

The air so alive with cold
All I could know

I drank the wine and listened.

You are too young to know but listen
Listen to each word. Then
Come away. Leave the door ajar
Learn to find the secret jolt.

Swimming across frozen water, chunks
Catching in my hair, my feet whales
Stuck again and again, my arms logs
Weighted by soot, dark and swirling
In the whirlpool my body was creating

Like powder
The smell of a rich woman ready
For her lover
The chamomile woke me
My limbs were stiff with dawn

I had barely began to walk the soreness out
When I found him.

–Shaun Perkins