Lake Affected

By Michelle Bonczek


April 11th and through my Michigan window: no surprise, really:
Blizzard. The small sidewalk trees sag under fluff and sky.
Cindy says she can’t take it, this weather. She misses
Dallas, the blue bells, has had enough of the lake’s snow globe
Extending its stay beyond this season’s home opener, yellow
Flowers and late night light for late nights
Grilling. Her hand opens back toward Texas like a beauty queen’s,
Her eyes bat their long lashes: Take me back old friend, holy hell,
I am sorry. But everyone has different needs
Jig-sawing their bellies. Pieces of life floating down like, well, you
know. Kevin, I’m leaving messages like lightning on your machine.
Lying in bed this morning I couldn’t sleep. Snow
Makes electric champagne of my nerves, pops me open, twists me until sweet
Nostalgia curls me up with a book, squeezes poetry from my skull, seduces me to
Ogle over young faces in old pictures, realphabetize my library, boil
Potatoes until my kitchen windows steam. I burned yesterday’s leftover
Quart of coffee reheating on the stove. But I didn’t care, all
Restless as I was and hungry for everything no longer
Snuggling in my shoes or my bed, which is to say, bodies from the past.
Time, oh time and time again time
Undoes more than the elastic seams on lingerie, but like that—
Very much like that, the things that make us sexy
Wear away. And when it snows like this I want to melt until
X-rays show me one white dot, unique, branching out, stuck,
Yearning for others like me that will have a ball with me making something
Zesty as an orange, ready to be thrown at the world.

Michelle Bonczek's chapbook The Art of the Nipple is forthcoming from Orange Monkey Publishing. Her poems have been published widely in journals, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, Orion, and The Progressive. She holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and a PhD from Western Michigan University. An avid gardener and photographer, she currently teaches writing in Syracuse, NY. 

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