How To Tell on Yourself

Toss reams of paper around.
Try not to give yourself a black eye.

Imagine when Lake of the Isles
was called Wita Tomna,

when it contained four islands.
Mourn the two that are gone.

Rent a canoe and trespass
on the two that remain.

Wait patiently
for a second wind.

Confess you are afraid
to tell the rest of the story.

Don’t forget the blueberries—
cartons of them.

Break a window on the east side.
Climb through. Don’t disturb

what you find.
Is it sleeping, or?

Slip into a crack in the paint.
Become the wall,

the water-stained ceiling,
the dirt-caked floor.

Breathe without hesitation.
Count to ten. Peel off your concrete

skin when you realize
becoming a tiny utility building

sprouted from a hillside
has its drawbacks.

Believe in bogs again,
bodies preserved in peat too.

Embrace the quaking.
Take a mental snapshot

of the floating boardwalk
as it trembles beneath you.

Watch your fingers transform
into golden needles about to drop.

You are that tamarack tree.
And repeat.

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