Chance Dibben is a writer, photographer, and performer living in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Split Lip, Reality Beach, Horsethief, Squawkback, Kiosk, as well as others.
There are worse places to be
than beaches of man-made lakes
we don't often salute the civil engineers
who gave us these counterfeits
if we do, we might reconstruct the lie
convince ourselves this is not a place to drown —
Yet, the water is real;
on foggy days it looks like a whole ocean
that if I took a picture from the highway
and slapped that picture
on the cover of a book titled
Pacific Interludes or some other bullshit
you wouldn't think about the reservoir
infested with zebra mussels and Asian carp
or the body of a neighbor
the cops scooped out yesterday
Here in Kansas, we really don't have many natural lakes — most of them are man-made. I was thinking about how beautiful Clinton Lake, outside of Lawrence, where I live, can be sometimes, how if you had just the right view, it would look like you were somewhere else, somewhere more bucolic, and naturally gorgeous. But the history of man is, in part, how we shape the landscape. How we create these replicas where they aren't supposed to be. How we damage ecosystems in intentional and unintentional ways. How the land remains dangerous, even when it has been bent toward our will.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.