I Must Be a Lake

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Contributor: Jeff Burt

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Love's never done expressing
like an impressionist painting
of a lake which always seems to move into focus
but never finishes the moving
or the seeming to move.

Love's never done expressing,
like art it makes things more immediate,
less mediated
than math or science can make, like the sudden sound
of a storm of language which has gathered and risen
out of the sublimation of thinking to the feeling of thought
(as ice becomes vapor
without becoming liquid so do symphonies
from sentences form).

Love's never done,
and now I understand
how the warmth of two hands pressed against my shoulders
can still the dark drum of my heart,
can turn my life around,
how like a lake gone dry from years of drought
a sudden rain restores and reeds come back
red-winged blackbirds populate,
I understand I must be a lake
for I have taken in the excess of overflowing hearts,
found the flood of my life returning
after I had given it up.

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Jeff Burt grew up in Wisconsin, Texas and Nebraska, loves water in all sizes, creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, oceans, mist, fog, drizzle, rain.


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