Trees bent unnatural by wind,
then frozen, looking delicate as jewelry, but unwearable.
Miles of white, palest skin,
and the slash of the road through it. Who named this lake,

who lost? How clear is its water
when not frozen? Do the townspeople refuse to swim in it,
or is it a site for seasonal pleasures?
At the self-serve station, the man insists on filling my tank.

Has everyone in town lost
their money, what can I buy to save them? A cigarette lighter,
a hunter’s cap, windshield fluid …
some of my blood’s origin is here—a family with white gums

and skin blue as this dusk.
Something not right about it—one year they tested vials
over and over. The doctors:
You’ll need to come in again; your blood is strangely thin.

What do you know of your heritage?
The houses are red on Fairchance Lane, their windows look
away from the banks of the lake,
tree-shaded places where lovers embraced. I could stop