LAKES

BY BEN GORELICK

Lakes have always been 
a source of catharsis for me. 

I dangle my legs off docks 
or chairs in the late spring months. 
The chill of the water shocks 
my feet at first and gradually 
becomes a slight icy ache in my skin. 

It reminds me I am real. 

Schools of minnows 
gather around my toes. 

I watch them dart at 
every slight gesture. 
I stay still and watch 
them slowly shimmer with the settling sand,
planting myself in their ecosystem. 

It reminds me I am real. 

Wandering deeper, 
I always look upwards. 

When above the water I see 
the world as I usually do, but 
if I just sink down a bit, I can see 
what the shimmering minnows see, and how the water 
becomes a mirror, with a clearer image than any other. 

It reminds me I am real.