It seems strange to me, how many of these poems wind around death: by drowning, by black ice, a riot, drowning, shipwreck, drowning.
I suppose I still drive with the casual recklessness of one still too young to feel properly mortal,
and moreover, have not frequented rivers or lakes as much as one might,
and as such,
I have never regarded Michigan as, chiefly, the place that might well kill me.
Ten out of ten people die, after all:
in Texas, or Finland, or deep corners of close communities in Greece,
no matter how long that last death takes
(though that IS, perhaps, the matter, when black ice kills an undergrad –
perhaps the loud clear silences of grief float to the top,
the cream of all our poetic impulses)
– anyway, though Death surrounds us all and always,
it’s always seemed gentler here than otherwhere:
the nation’s, the world’s
earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes,
flash floods deeper than a broken sump pump’s 4 inches of water,
and calling Belfor to rid you of boxes
buried in your basement 20 years or more.
Of course the water can kill you
(Flint, anyone? that
is what you call ironic)
but don’t forget that,
it enables you to live, first.