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  • The Hike Is Marriage, the Water Is Love
  • Luke Johnson (bio)

for PK & SB

Ask a Michigander about waterand you’ll get a Romantic answer:

It’s everywhere, as if the factthat water is impossible to grasp

means the language for watermust be mercifully approximate.

Everywhere. But here under the canopies,two hikers covered in bugbites argue,

not sure exactly where they areexcept that in the bulrush, bleeding,

nicked by briars and brambles,the long hike wearing down

their will, they’re living betweensips of the canteen, and the water

seems nowhere in sight, and the hikethey set out on a long, forked metaphor

like this one: the hike as marriage,the water as love, and the cool vista

a large and beautiful thingthey cannot grasp

though it grows wider and wider. [End Page 339]

Luke Johnson

luke johnson is the author of After the Ark. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, New England Review, and The Threepenny Review. He is director of the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop Online and an adjunct instructor at the University of Mary Washington. He lives in Virginia.



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