Archive for May, 2010

By the Lagoon

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 by edgargibsonoliver

There is a bridge in Prospect Park that is
now condemned.
But I walk over it anyway
and I go beyond the collapsed fence that
wards you off from its edges
and I peer over the bannister at the
beautiful lagoon below
with its shallow yet mysterious water
which is a world unto itself –

a world of sky and turtles –

for water and sky are one –

and turtles and birds within them.
And I remember a long time ago –
when I first looked down into this
lagoon and saw it leading away
and I was young and ready to follow roads –

as I still do.
But I used to go there and become almost

mad with being lost by the lagoon

mad with the woods –
mad with the day and its gold and my

solitude among it.

Mad with my own young murderable beauty –

like some crazy screaming bird –

yet silent – exultant –

pale and screaming with solitude beside

the water –

the silent song of solitude surrounding me –

with its splashes and flutters of wind

and strange shrieks of birds.

And then through the leaves black boys
on bicycles came crashing –

shrieking with laughter –
and I stood still, frozen with terror –

thinking
“They are going to kill me” –

feeling myself so murderable there among
the woods –
on the black side of the park –
so murderable by teenaged black boys

on bicycles –

how could they resist murdering me –

a boy trying to be a tree among trees –

but a tree who has not stopped being a boy –

a young man in love with himself as he was

at seventeen –

when he first set out on his wanderings.
This was where his wanderings had led him –

to this abandoned place.
I imagined living there by the lagoon –

that I was that boy I once was,
still living there among the trees.
When night fell, though, terror overcame me

and I left the park and went home.
But that boy stayed there among the trees.

I imagined his life –

that I had been alone all these years.
I was a man of twenty-seven who lived in a

strange rooming house with his sister

and drank and went to night clubs.

But I was that boy I once was.

I lived by the lagoon.
I had not spoken in years.

I had drifted away from humanity.
I peered out from among the leaves.
I look out of my eyes.

I am alone.

This all took place long ago –

in the summer of a book I began to write,

but a real summer as well –

the summer I first found that abandoned place.

That was years ago.

The book is written.
The book is long since finished.

The boy lives in the book.
But I think he is still there by the lagoon.
I think I must have thought that I could

be that boy again.

I still do.
If I spent one night by the lagoon

at dawn I would be gone
and that boy would be there, watching
from the leaves.
But in all the years since I first found that
place I have never dared spend one night

there.
I have always been too frightened.

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