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[Perhaps this day marks the end of your kayak internship]

Perhaps this day marks the end
of your kayak internship,
but we’ll always have
the unspeakable acts of kindness
we committed together.
All those hours spent
thrashing beneath the bulrushes,
overburdened with brochures
for Darrell’s Ferret Park.
You’ve become like the felonious
philosophy tutor I never had.
You shed your life jacket
the way others shed
burning headdresses.
In shadowy bars
in the Berkshires,
the campers whimper
in hushed tones.
How many days
I’ve lived a catalog of scarcities
while exhaustion died out of you!
I’d like to apologize
for the merciless waterboarding
which followed.
As part of this internship,
I must demand you not
disclose your birth
and subsequent life.
Your days knotting dull winters
into hair are over.
Beyond them: further kayaks
of dubious legal origin,
a sandbar, a shoreline
rising like a wolf
to meet you.

Kyle McCord is the author of three books of poetry including Sympathy from the Devil, forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2013. He has work featured in Boston ReviewGulf Coast, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He’s the co-founder of LitBridge and co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry.