Lake Erie on a Monday Night

by Anthony M. Powers

Lake Erie on a Monday night,

I walked out to the beach to get away from the tree-line

And into the moonlight

With the shadows of the trees stretching out at me like crooked fingers.

Colin and Mike were taking pictures,

Trying to grab at the last remaining rays of sunlight

Peeking out from between the water and cloud cover

And there was no one else there because

Even though it wasn't fall yet,

The nights were getting much too cold.

And I could smell the water treatment plant further up the coastline

Like all the shit was piling up from this rotten city

The waste and death of it all

As if I should have expected better of it.

The air and the water and the cold and the shit

All mixing together like mud

And I was breathing it in.

And I could feel winter coming

And the leaves were already turning golden, red,

And falling.

And I knew that I'd be trapped here for the winter,

Probably even longer than that.

There was no denying it anymore.

Then we had lost all the sunlight and now we were just wasting time and film and ink,

And there was a couple sitting a little ways up the beach

But I could only make out their silhouettes,

And I wanted like hell to leave

Because the wind was aching my bones

And that smell was still stuck in my nose

And I knew then like I know now,

Without a shadow of a doubt,

That there was absolutely no getting away from any of it.