Lakes in Winter

A frozen lake unfolds and spreads between us.

I see it almost like curdling milk,

three drops of lemon juice and

the milk ruffles in clouds, thick and opaque and white.

I stand on one shore, you on the other,

Gray white ice under white gray sky

The color of cataracts in Elsie’s eyes.

It will snow soon, you say.

Your voice carries like a gull

From one gray bank to the other,

Equipped with the look of flapping wings

And feathers quivering in the thermals.

The ice on the lake looks smooth and hard as marble.

I begin to think Well what if this is just one piece

Of some vast table of marble hidden under the earth.

I’ve always loved marble, marbled bread, rolling marbles

Across the floor and listening to the sound of the spin

Against the wood.

I want snow! You yell, taking a wide stance and

Throwing your arms out to your sides.

Your voice balloons bigger through the air,

The sound breaking up against the trees and the sky.

From this side of the lake, so far away,

You look like a dark star, dressed in jeans and north face,

The five points of you reaching finite on the edge of

The ice unfolding frozen white, shore to shore.

–Jenna Bernstein


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