Idyll in Late Summer by Nate Pritts


Hundreds of years ago
when my body was a canoe on the water,

when my mind was green & strident
like a young plant

accelerating in the light of a new world,
I loved a woman.

We were together
in the urgent heat of the summer.

When morning changed into afternoon,
I would place a damp cloth

over her eyes, create a moist darkness
to protect her from the fire.

Centuries have elapsed since then.
The woman I loved

uses a new name,
like a secret agent whose only mission

is to preserve some forgotten world
by denying it, letting it vanish.

I spend the long hours
in the haze of this endless millennium

checking my email again & again.
Above my workspace is a photo,

the only proof I have:
a small green island unmoving

in the center of a restless lake.



Nate Pritts is the author of several collections of poetry, including the full-length Right Now More Than Ever and a recent chapbook, Pattern Exhaustion. Poems & prose have appeared in American Poetry Review, Southern Review, Court Green, Passages North, Forklift, Ohio, Poets & Writers and many other journals. He founded H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press, and continues to serve as Director. Nate lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York.