except she's not a river, she's a lake,
a few feet from where, at Happy Hour, I take
my usual five-ish time to be beside her. But,
what keeps me here in spite of eminent rain
that wants a cameo in this story? It's that
she's become a contender in the NasLake 500,
driven by the whip of a South Wind, never meant
to be a virago. Is it envy of the Northeast gale,
our island given, a foaming at the mouth,
slant-eyed surf, roiling in a no-winner race,
calling its caveat of, Come in, swimmer--
we'll take you out without a trace?
Those of us who must be near water sense
a death wish, a dire imagining, a disquiet just
this side of fear in the lake's quotidian power.
Where is the happy in this hour? A giant palm-
frond scrapes the sky like the claw of some
primordial beast. There is no sanctuary here,
no cheer, but we, at least, can bolt the door,
consign the lake's tsunami delusion
to the eye of the sky.
Copyright © Nola Perez