Rain Lake

All night it rains morse code on the dome of the tent.
It is a vase of air, a lander in search of life,
transmitting this, “here I am, speak.”

For hours, I sleep, curled into a shape of a lake,
until I wake, turn into another, and because I am cold,
a lake more southerly than the last.

I wear my dark blue Toronto Maple Leafs toque,
reminiscent of the liners astronauts wear,
and divers also, which they fit beneath their helmets,
but the cold, another body now, embraces me.

Perhaps she can sniff a damp animal.
With my pores wide, I might admit
she can enter my skin,
divide, leave again

because this is her route,
bodies of rain traversing
lake after lake, letting mist
become dreams

of another planet,
the warmth of the island
I once discovered at
its very centre.

Beauty Lake Rd.

All afternoon
and near night
this deer
inside me
scenting for
its place
to die and lay
together,
this
deer, this
me,
we search
the sky
for it, or
the light
of each place,
to enter earth
’til finally
we see,
stepping
into
our tracks
to take us
there, the bird
that turns
air into
rivershape.

Firepit on Lac Dragon Island

I find the old firepit
that looks ancient.

It’s fifty at most,
a broken bobbin of weed

and blueberry.
Moldy blisters from fire

are spooned away
in a broken bowl

of a skull, fingers sucked
to their stone seeds.

The wind seems to find me.
It circles my arms,

then confuses them with cedars,
it seems, coaling their bitterness,

orange gruel, and crab water
crawling in

the salty beard, spreading
the unnameable colour of lichen.

Constellations of the Backcountry

If it could, the water snake would see
how it lives in a mirage of reeds,
flat on Lac Grande. I, on the other hand,
saw it the night before, unknotting its
meteor tail through the milky way,
like a net we, before me, used up the air,
I imagine, to throw there. It made me
wonder about these sounds, too, that
this morning I hear disguised as waves,
and the particles, I don’t see,
pretending to be me. What can they reveal,
now that I am gone, and so that I may
come back? Nothing comes to me now,
but perhaps the way is to measure silence
by the years, listening for that signal to say,
“I was here.”

– Lac Grande, La Vérendrye, Quebec