river on fire

a swirl of color
like when a match
first strikes
in the open air

in high school
i would get stoned
toss strips of magnesium
into the river
intense lines
of white flame
on the moving river

the same river
where dusty
through the ice
when we were kids

all of us
had played
on the frozen shelf
the slow current

the dreams
of drowning
began soon after
of falling
from the light
of another frozen day
against the thick ice above

that is why
i tried
to set the water
on fire

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