When I was at war in a childhood & You can find the past in the river of fish

Lake Angela


When I was at war in a childhood
beyond trees, I remember the angel
who drugged me. She was pristine.
She had no face.

All ways of considering the musculature
point to the north, the boat moored
to the tree, the invisible rope.

Why is the most beautiful
the superlative failure?


You can find the past in the river of fish,
the rattle of guts filled with teeth:
rain inside cactus. I fed them words
ripped from our mouths, the love last.
Between black word and water glides
a corridor, inside the fish, where the moths
who made flame are born brown.
You can find it in fish: past the carp’s mouth
lies anything lost; past the old boat
the black erased shame lies like a haze.
Ply the river higher; carp upon carp rattle.
Inside fish, letters drop from bile-sharpened
cliffs, shattered clouds, and splintered
woods intended to drift. The first time
the jagged semi-voices touch our skin,
we itch and then burn the silences.

Lake Angela is a poet, translator, and dancer-choreographer from Lake Erie who develops her work at the confluence of verbal language and movement. She holds a PhD from The University of Texas at Dallas for her inter-semiotic translations of German Expressionist poetry into dance and has her MFA in poetry. She is a medieval mystic and beguine. Her poems and choreography often explore the possibilities in, and kinds of, darkness and silences, and the expressions of colors, waters, and suffering. Her first two books of poetry are forthcoming from FutureCycle Press in 2020 and 2021. Her poetry-dance may be found on her website: www.lakeangeladance.com

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