Thursday, April 29, 2010

25/30 "Lake Erie Laments Its Fate" by Gus Wood

Everybody loves a good fire,
something impossible to drop a jaw
while you're watching.
I was only trying to show you
a miracle.
It was not an invitation
to change me.

As your constant companion,
I sought your friendship.
I giggled as you gutted me,
filled my shores with cold
unfeeling concrete,
making me an industry.
I loved each and every ounce
of your filth.
It brought us closer.

I turned my riverbeds into a shrine,
an altar to praise your broken cities.
Industries boomed and faded to shade
in the reflection of my choking black waters.
True love is never healthy when you mean it,
So pollute me.

Fill me with the discarded scraps
of your human experience like you
once so eagerly did.
Mound me with your refuse,
I could never refuse you my muck,
So pollute me.
Dump your communion wafer waste,
your sins,
choke me with fetid bliss and I will once again
announce my love to you.

I will burn bright for my lovers,
for Cleveland.
I will burn all orange against the black of night
and my rotting waters.
This was not a tragedy.
Every dead fish, every burnt scrap of something,
was an offering to you,
my cities.

Self-destructive, infatuated,
with the faded portraits
of your America.
I set myself alight in that 1969
moment in time just to pay back
all the love you've given me.
Just to pay it back,
in kind.

But you claimed to know me.
You dragged my shrine until it shined,
wiped of all the gifts you offered me.
You made me a home for fish,
for ugly scaled intruders,
that waltz into our love story.
They have no business touching me,
defiling the bed I've laid out for every body
you dump in me.

Give me a corpse to kiss,
to hold.
Give me garbage,
some rotting memento
to press into my muddy bottom.
Do not leave me alone.

Nature has no business here,
in between us.
Turn my waters to bubbling swirls
or smothering black.
Set me ablaze again.
Set your rusting car skeletons
to disintegrate on my tongue.
Your industries, history, and sins
all rotting in my arms.

Let's suicide pact and never let go.
Let's become a romance for the ages,
the best ones all end in tragedy.

I have always loved you,
like a fire.

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