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An Algae Mat on the Water
Jonathan Weinert (bio)

I lie awake alone at night, the bedsheets
moonlight-striped or shadowed by the new
moon’s dark. The gods who regulate our lives

are blind to us, and we are blind to them.
They go by many names, they never answer,
and yet I call to them—to Slippage, Edge,

Division, Membrane, Accident, and Vanishing
—as if they’re really there, and listen
to the struck-dumb silence following,

the echo of the thesis that admits
no argument. We’re subject, compromised,

impermanent as shine, as algae snagged
against a logjam which a cow moose
carelessly dislodges with her left hind hoof.

Her thoughtlessness announces an ideal,
while the algae’s frailty confirms a certainty.
I wait. Eventually those clouds

will clear the pines that edge the yard. A light
will strike down from the sky, and then the dark
will strike. Such terrors our thinking conceives,

and then we make them. So much for the good.
So much for the imagination. Darkness,

brightness, further dark: such structure,
simple though it seems, exceeds us. Why not
simply gaze, refract, record? The eye as pinhole

aperture; the mind as dark receptive
camera. In that chamber that constructs
the light, can disbelief become a creed?

For I believe in wind deforming water,
bent and unbent grass, whatever stands forth
brightly from the flux. In its dominion

over nothing, substance only proves divine.
Out of absence flares a temporary shine.

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