Oyster Boy Review 02  
  March 1995
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» Levee 67


Towards Twenty-Four

Joe Bolton

I'd say the sky still pink as a fading love-
Bite in the west is draining into the lake
On the other side of the dam—I'd
Say that, if I didn't know better.

These sultry summers spent brooding
In a Southern resort town get harder
The older I get, and the slim brown girls
Migrating from Michigan and Wisconsin,
Though they still allure me, have become
Untouchable now.

I like
To watch them tying their hair back,
Padding along the floodwall as if they'd grown
Beautiful stilts and mastered them.

The lights across the river move
On the moving water like a pencil sketch.

This river empties
Into the Ohio just northeast of Paducah,
And you can finish the story from there.

I've tried and tried to reject the old music,
To admit no cognizance of the depths,
But tonight the last light falls in such a way
As to probe the water and illume the shadow-
Shapes of nameless things.

Lost one:
I sometimes believe your white blood
Fills my hands: I cannot move them.
The stars and a meager piece of moon begin
To swim, as though seen from underwater.

Still, I'll walk back to my car and drive away.

I'd have to drag the river to find you now.