Lake Burial

Denise Jarrott

where is the body        in the
wherefore a body, in the              poem, the body
becomes a cat in a field.


the highest (natural) point in Iowa being a (natural) hill, called imposing in
comparison to everything around it. there are landfills taller, though, places so tall


for the body, no need for a poem.              where is the body


hawks’ eye, blackened, utterly
red tailed utterly kestrel
atop the capitol dome.


           where is the body
in the poem?












those rowdy boys. those bawdy boys

we could take you
out where they can’t find you, hide your body

in a silo            boys, drowned boys
in the algae

I did not arrive             until I had long gone.

cat in a field, cat            frozen in the field.      you better













there is always a dead baby in your experiments
of thought. it is just a string of
thoughts, Denise. there are no real babies in the

too many dead women in the poems.

I have short hair, I am wearing an orange bikini, my first.
is that a girl is that a boy is that a body there?
given, the lake. given, the body. given
a body distances
the body from the body.
there is a cayman in this lake it is below
the body it is below us right now, it is right













rowdy, boys will be
boys will be rowdy will rough

                            this house on the edge of
the lake. kiss my whole body, but you don’t tell
what we did. if you cannot locate
the body in the hedge, the body at the edge












smuggling raisins under the cross
across my chest.

I cried in the rock garden.

sung body. body at the edge of the door.
do not give them
your body, whose only power of
is to open if you choose it to. I would give my body
to the water if I could just
keep completely still












the air, the algae, the lake is green, blue
water only three in the world
west lake okoboji
okoboji okoboji












cat in a field, the highest point in Iowa
is not the hill it is the land-
fill, it is the hog farm. I’m not a farm
girl. I am not a hawk
girl. I am not a body in this












so many bodies in the poems, so many rowdy boys
doing things to bodies because
I walked, because
I took a picture of myself because
I was breathing too close because
my shirt was too thin because
I climbed to the top of the mound because
I drank water because I went
to the field and found a cat there
I laid down next to its body.

I was next to the lake late
next to the lake.













Denise Jarrott grew up in Iowa and currently lives in Colorado. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in LVNG, The Volta, Pith, Mid-American Review, Cut Bank, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook Nine Elegies, forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.