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Pontoosuc Lake, Tanglewood

by Dzvinia Orlowsky

for Jay

Like a water-skier thrashing and banging
the lake’s surface,
you test your balance
on impossible path.

Given a choice,
I’d rather drop the line
and sink gracefully,
an anchor
in perfect arabesque,
or Alice
slipping through the watery mirror.

I’m ready to set my metronome
to the sluggish pulse of water lilies,
take up residency in sludge, amphibious,
invisible to predators circling above,
chain sawing the calm.

It’s time to fold the world’s chaos
back into the paper,
applaud fruit
ripening on the table
without its tree.

There are two islands
before us. One,
littered with the garbage of lovers.
The other, undisturbed.

We could row there,
together dip our oars.
Let’s syncopate back to whole notes
with a pledge to go on feeling this:

the orchestra sounding its pitch,
trees holding back their leaves,
the first breeze of Mozart
leaving the earth.


Dzvinia Orlowsky lives in Cambridge and is a contributor to the forthcoming Amnesia: Art of the Lost Object Anthology published by Editorial Lascaux in Barcelona. Alexander Dovzhenko (1894–1956), whose journals are mentioned in her poem “The River,” is the Ukrainian poet and filmmaker. His films celebrated the Soviet revolution, and his prose and poetry pictured the Ukraine during the German invasion and occupation in the Second World War. (1986)

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