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Monday, February 16, 2009

I am from the lake

Jamie Bloss

I am from the lake

and the step outside my backdoor,
where I’d sit in the late afternoon
light, time flying by in a straight line,
the only way to tell was the number
of cigarettes half put out on the ground.

Watching Titanic on VHS, fast-
forwarding through the nudity with
KT’s mom. The river behind my
grandparent’s house, and its foul smell.

Def Leppard and Van Halen
played all throughout the fourth grade,
my father assembling my Barbie
bike on Christmas Eve.

The timid and calculated steps of the
neighborhood herd of deer,
my great, great grandfather’s violin
that I’d visit in the basement of my

dying great-grandmother, in its own
dry wooden box, slightly resembling
(don’t say it) a coffin.
The steps on Coventry Road before
shows, after shows, drinking 40s,
laying on the bathroom floor
and the purple sky at night.

My boyfriend’s dog (a most noble
creature), presenting us with gifts of
dead raccoons and once, a woodchuck.

That bench where we held each
other, but only talked, in the
awakening November night.

The Final Countdown played on an
accordion, my mom and I dancing to
Aerosmith in the kitchen while
she cooked, and harsh words when
I sang the lyrics again in public.

The greasy unwashed cigarette smell,
and the chlorine smell of summer days,
that never quite washes off the skin.

When you told me: ‘I’m scared,’
and I just said, ‘okay’.

The flattened grass where we
had laid on our backs watching
the blue light of the moon.

The mixtape made by friends, and five rows
of studs worn low on the waist, gathered from
friends, or ordered off the internet with our
parent’s Visas and Discover cards.

My stolen copy of The Catcher in the Rye,
steamed up car windows when we had
nowhere else to go, and the Payne’s Grey and
Hooker’s Green of my mother’s watercolors
(and also of her eyes).

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