upon inheriting a lake

in one dream there is a boat
resting carefully on its belly
in the water,

and in the boat:

a beautiful woman with hands in the water
shouting for the trout and salmon to rise up
and admire her beauty
which cannot be realized underwater
or even in the eyes of a worthy lover

and when she yells
the wind blows layers off the water,
her skin,

and her arms are cold
and she pleads with me for a coat of cattails
and she begs for a dinner of fish

until she catches her own reflection
and grows quiet as the dusk.

she is not the one I imagine
will take care of my boat, my lake:
she is not the one.

my mother who has driven the boat ashore,
taken it to pieces
for light to read by;

she sees me and shows her teeth,
daring me to come closer,
into the light of the fire
where my skin glows like metal
but hers just burns blacker,

eclipsing the blemished moonlight -

ripples lie dormant in their liquid cocoons,
forgetting to moan and churn.

she does not seem to be one
to take care of my lake, my life:
she is not the one.

with my arm pressed beneath my ribs
to protect these bare bones,
dry bones - if wet, they shrink -

and my mouth is a wax butterfly
wrinkled by the threat
of too much mythology;

I do not dream of death rituals
or floating downstream with lilies in my hair
(the beauty has done it for me) -
or sinking to join my brethren, smooth pebbles
(in a past life my mother drowned me in bathwater) -

no I have given these shores to secrecy
among reeds, I sleep with hands
caught in their thin serenity.

who is to take care of my life, my lake, my boat:
I stare at the sky but it proclaims,
you are the one, the one.