I’d Be a Lake

If I weren’t a person I’d be a lake.
I find it intimate how Amanda and I
had the same barber exactly once,
two weeks apart. Once,
in a Taco Bell, I gifted Amanda
a swiss army knife with the word
“dyke” engraved on its side.
The last time I held a knife I ran
my thumb over its blade.
I look up “knife” I look up
“found knife” I watch a video called
“knives I’ve found in rivers”
and all the comments under the video
are like: “this guy is gonna get arrested
for 17 murders he didn’t commit.”
There’s something there, that feeling
of being wrongfully punished. The first time
I had sex, it was with a woman. She left.
I covered my fingers, thighs, vulva
with hand sanitizer. I showered, thinking
of myself not as myself but as a petite duck
dunking its head in the pond. I’ve noticed
my tears fall faster when I’m lying down.
I close my eyes to trick the tears into thinking
the door to outside is somewhere else. It’s like
if you get trapped in snow unable to orient yourself.
It’s like needing to spit and see which way gravity
pulls it. I love the lake for reflecting
the sky back up to itself. I love the lake
for showing the sky its face.


Sara McNally is a second year MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago where she has been a senior editor for Columbia Poetry Review. She has been Published in Gulf Stream, Mistake House, and elsewhere.

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