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William Heyen – Ⅹ





Long ago, on Long Island, when I was a boy, I’d bike

to ponds a couple-three miles away & to a lake

with an Algonquin name, Ronkonkoma, which might have meant

bottomless. One late-winter morning after first thaw

I found several coins in the ice-washed sands, & a sodden

five-dollar greenback among waterweeds.

One mid-summer evening when I needed to be home,

I stood instead to watch sunset burn the water,

then fall behind pavilions & a treeline on the far shore.

There were bats then, & birdcalls, & the green smells

of my mostly uphill ride home past Spectacle Pond,

& crickets, & the whoosh of my tires on tar.

That sunset stayed/stays in my mind, the bursts

of neural fire, the crimson beauty, the feeling that nothing

could possibly extinguish that sun, & then didn’t.