Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Cambridge Water Supply

The track around the reservoir
at dusk sports a dozen joggers
and a pair of women rehashing
Belmont’s loudest divorce. Walking
so tenderly I won’t bruise
the faint violet sea of light,
I admire a round brick water house,
grass sward capping and concealing
the water itself. No way to drown
in the Cambridge water supply,
which simmers under lock and key
and can’t readily evaporate
in gruesome September heat.

Not that I’m looking to drown
or even swim, but a glimpse
of open water would cool me
for a moment, empower me
to review the life I’ve spent
stalking the Chimera to snuff
its fire breath and poke out its eyes.
The joggers gasp and pant and sweat.
The women snarl as they agree
that she should have demanded more
alimony from that creep, drained
his bank account and shoveled him
headlong into the furnace
of his neo-pubic desires.

Neighboring houses crackle
with ordinary lives. Pages
turn under lamplight. A bible
surrenders its angry subtext,
a novel coughs up a character
a reader might wish to befriend.
The evening’s first stars fall, snuffing
in the reservoir’s secret depths.
I should take notes; but warped
by this walk, my handwriting
might strangle itself and render                           
the track around the reservoir
not as a circle but series
of loops, entangling me in syntax
too faintly violet to parse.

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