A Selection from Blue Mouth


I confused a stream
with life. And I confused leaves
oiling along on it
with lives. And the lake
it muscled into
I confused with a hospital's
shimmering glass doors. There was quiet
and muffled non-quiet.
And I was confused
with where exactly it was
I was going
when I heard that ambulance
moving like a mechanical leaf
through traffic.

          -- J. W. Marshall

finalist, 2002 Washington State Book Awards