Winter Landscape

A woman is / turned into a lake she is
     secretly pleased.
Great blue herons
are moving across the sky / and the body

of this twisted oak its / arrowed branches / flung
     in every direction / is now
leafless / so that its outstretched
     arms do not / run the risk / of breaking
their own weight / *cold sweat poured down

my imprisoned limbs wherever / I moved my foot
     a pool gathered* / that this water could
bruise me my voice / caught in bird-call I
     want you to put me in the ground
with my mouth open / and when we say earth

we mean human
     earth / foxes have no history
transcripts / know not how their great grandparents
     died / and who among us / records / the continual

losses / it is lighter / to be fleshless / a beetle colony
     takes three months to eat / a white dog clean
like a hymn / say / I will be taken / knowing
     the bones will remain.

1The first line of this poem is inspired by Jia Tolentino’s New Yorker Article “How a Woman Becomes a Lake.” The other italicized portions of this poem are taken from Ovid’s *Metamorphoses,* when the nymph Arethusa recounts how Ceres, the river god, tried to rape her and as she was fleeing from him, she turned into a lake.