Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Florida Water Sources and the Best Seeing

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Florida Water Sources and the Best Seeing

Article excerpt

Headwater. Mouth

of the river. So hard to understand

where it starts and where it ends,

to remember the headwater

tiny, a trickle, a bubble

up out of dry ground,

and the mouth-wide as a country.

With greater ease I learned

the dark swimming moons

beside my rowboat in Crystal River

were sea cows. Manatees.

Their bulbous undulating masses

huge enough to tip the boat

were live. I couldn't see their eyes

or know their heads from ends

but I knew not to swim,

nearblind, in that river.

And so I turned to sinkholes,

barren funnels filled with bright water

bubbling from the underground springs.

Clear. Even with bad eyes.

I swam along the tops in teeshirt

and cut-off jeans, wide-opening

eyes to the clear cold water.

I heard one sinkhole

swallowed a whole car,

and feigned to take a town

a sudden large thing. …

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