BY THE LAKE
I went outside to smoke a bowl
(because my boyfriend was still sleeping
because the sunrise was magical
because I had no real reason, just desire).
While I was standing out there, my coat wrapped
tight around me and smoke wrapped
loosely around my vision, I saw the geese.
Well, I heard them first—outraged honks
and splashing water and the beating of wings.
Chasing, fighting, they would rise in the air
like deities and fall back into the water
like bullets. Finally getting high, I start to think of
my students, all of whom know what a gun is.
I feel strangely exposed,
rummaging in the basement
of my grandparents’ home.
I can hear the bones
of this house shifting.
In the dusty corner on a dusty stool
is a dusty book. I blow
off the age and see (in my grandmother’s
handwriting): Book of the Dead.
There’s a greasy fingerprint
on the first page.