I Remember the Bark Blue


What if I told you this has nothing to do with the depth of Lake Superior.

When molten basalt erupts, it lasts for twenty years, but when the fog finally lifted, I was standing on the edge of flickered gneiss filling the deep lake with holes.

I can’t tell you what it feels like to love someone.

To go back to the tent. Your coffee pot full of kindling.

For two years, I feel too much. If you want to write an essay about six white rhinoceroses, then you should write an essay about six white rhinoceroses.

I write about the invention of Nutella. Every morning I climb 1,332 feet to look at things without breaking. Ten different theories are listed to explain the name “white rhinoceros” for an animal that is grey. I want to believe in nineteen hundred degrees the way I remember you with all my books. In 1806, Napoleon tried freezing out British commerce to take over the world.

I take the metro to every museum, imagine myself always alone at the Smithsonian staring down Nola. I just want to know how to let a dying thing leave.

In 1904, Herman Merkel discovered a blight on American Chestnut trees. Cryphonectria parasitica swept across the region killing trees at a rate of fifty miles per hour. During summer when the tree flowered, the Appalachians appeared covered in snow. Every summer I crest McAffee’s Knob to watch the last grey wolves roam the lake.

I’d take pictures of your shoes when you’d leave.

Every night I make a list of everything I’ve ever lost. Hazelnut birch made of floating ivory…sometimes I wish I only listened to things on fire.

What if I said blue to you in your green suit.

Sarah BatesMarch - April  2016 Issue