Five years past, I walked to Cleveland from London,
Ontario. My passport was the memory of monarchs and
I touched water at the Rondeau spit.
A shroud of perch bones settled on the lake’s surface.
It was January, season of thin oil fish.
When Erie thaws, shore dwellers sleep on feathers
not the moon of long-winged ants and day-dead nymphs.
When Erie freezes, snowy owls move down from the pole.
Toddlers cry out to hunters sighting flying dots.
In senseless white I thought crows.
For several miles out was a procession of voles.
In the shallows they sought smelts and minnows,
the lake their field of barley, bluegrass, the English gardens.
Over in a town no one knew,
a candidate calling himself Zyklon B
was elected; his first act named Town Hall
This is for the great Cuyahoga fire, he said.
The snow I met was a cache of ashes.
It fell with vulcanized precision.
Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Rat’s Ass Review, Mojave River Review, Chiron Review, The Wild Word, The Blue Hour, Unlikely Stories, The Wire’s Dream, Landlocked Lyres, The Blue Nib, Poets Reading the News, New Reader Magazine, Credo Espoir, and Spectrum. He is a 2017 Pushcart nominee in poetry.