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2012 Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing Recipient
Lucas Pingel, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
To speak of our constellated histories
would require our eyes transform,
tinted to the spectrum.
The sky complicates itself through snowfall, knots
in our shoulders, the heavy weight of time seizing
us away from this moment or any other.
A sealed envelope
We too are tucked and folded somewhere
in there, along with a bad check
made out to the devil.
What energy spent this morning
shutting it all down,
the entrances, the fountains, the intellectual
property generally guarded with grenades.
I bullet a drop of sweat your way,
a memento of better feasts. Night-time
swallows us into ourselves, where we
catch fleeting moments of the us ten years
ago, doing things not much different,
but with better hairstyles. Day moves
away. The edge of another world we house
in our bellies, hastily built, but in this fair
climate will suffice. We eat our best
sanctuary accidentally. Yes, it’s okay.
It’s fun to rebuild. I imagine you working
ahead without me, steering the clouds
away from the whales, and I want you
to want my help, though I’m woefully
inexperienced in the art of shipwreckery.
Do other people talk like this? Have they
already found their valuables shoreside waiting
next to them as they dream about the things
they already know how to do? Certainly:
I’d take your camera any day. You throw your
pole into a fish and pull out a pond. That’s nothing
to cough at, though it does smell funny.