It is well-curtained,
the skeleton within the scum.
It is like a palm
struck under the chest
our pastoral makes of us,
a translucent skin
the afternoon gathers
when the heat leans in
to unpeel our lungs.
Who we are is love.
Our feet drag weeds
when the pond becomes
worth reconsidering,
our good brains raising
one idea of a temple
above the ripples,
where insects perform
all the latest constellations.
To believe in a stone,
first you must believe
you can throw it in.
You must believe
in the goldfish it will become.
Like they’re un-tucking
the camouflaged pasture
where we sleep,
the sky’s giant claws
light down on us.
We hardly even sing
between the fungal dew
and the jaws that open wide
like constant reminders
that our place to hide
is someone else’s place
to go finding
and yet another place entirely
where couples go to picnic,
hoisting their pineapples
and unknowing lives
above the small horrors
and treacherous history
that make every patch macabre
when we’re shivering,
unable to sleep
and almost certainly imagining
bones beneath the lilies
and bones above them,
a boney horizon
papering the breath
that gives us away
but also gives us life.
A slow wind echoes
within our own skulls
before we even speak.
It is so chemical,
what passes for time outside
in the environment
where we plug our bodies,
throwing them down
among the vacant things
we grow each season,
the executive hedges
and hardwood gazebos
that are like safety valves
beneath the astronauts’
strange and weightless dreams.


Listen to Christopher DeWeese read “The Pond”



Homepage photograph via Flickr by Guttorm Flatabø

Christopher DeWeese

Christopher DeWeese’s first book is The Black Forest. His poems have recently appeared in Fence, jubilat, and Tin House.