the topography of what they don’t teach you in school

The  children  who  once gathered

could  sense it  leaving  them  too.
With  all  the  ghosts above
the  lake of sky was easy to mistake
for  heaven, as the  world every so often
a  tiny boat in a  water basin, as shoes
strung  up over  thin lines
easily  the sound  of snow  in May
and  the May  in snow.  I watched as it
left the others.   As they turned, one by
one.  Their  shadows  making them
terrifying.  Their  sounds so  immense,
they  could have been  mistaken for what
happens  sometimes  when one
whispers.  And becoming something
of a muzzle with no secrets left to give,
they are the dangerous kind now.
We  are  the ahistorical  kind.
We the clouds that everyone discovers
their  own  image in and thus argues


Keegan Lester is the founding editor of the journal Souvenir.   His work has been published in: CutBank, Sixth Finch, Ilk Journal, Phantom Limb, The Barn Owl Review, The Moon City Review, POOL and Leveler among others. If you so dare, you can listen to him read poems at Yes, Poetry’s youtube channel.  He is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program. He swims in pools daily—sometimes legally, sometimes less legally.  He is most happy when on the road or when causing trouble with his partner in crime, his grandmother.  In fact, this very poem is for his grandmother.