The Reservoir

The smell of the reservoir--
its breeding and corruption:
that too was in our heads.

Our limbs across beds
dense with thyme
and the rough tongues of mint,

their needling scents
against the unmaking odor
of the water downhill.

The two of us in the night garden
above that rift of water
filling the dammed-up valley,

its drowned graves and little churches.
The two of us there; the reservoir below:
what's proximate, what's distant.

I envy us that lost August
of our bodies, pale and given
to the sounds of breathing and skin

that silenced our other natures.
In a tangle of stems,
the season's plait of green,

our forgotten selves,
a moon-white leg and length
of back sunk in the loam,

the memory of our shapes
still in the dirt, in the underground hives
made from thaw and ice.

by Marc Woodworth

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