- The Hike Is Marriage, the Water Is Love
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 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.