The Student Literary Journal of Northern Vermont University

Here Is What’s Left of Lake Bonneville


She is determined to see. Lock the creature in a still, share
his looks with those who’ll listen. She takes
a handful of diced tuna. Dabs the juice
from the tin can on her collar bone. The lake is saltier

than the sea, a pH between toothpaste and milk
of magnesia. Salt can’t be destroyed—won’t dissipate
or burn—all that can be done is grind
the small crystals into dirt and watch it lose

worth. This lesson she learned in Sunday school, the spiritual
point less poignant. Even salt will sift its way
to shore, the edges of his liquid home. One toe
at a time, she dribbles fish purée,

until she is up to her earlobes. Empty
cans bob near outstretched fists. Mosquitoes line her forehead.
Torso stripped, eyes closed. A lake
housing a monster with nowhere else to go,

without a single outlet, it’s up to the earth’s inventions now.