Lake Natron

There is a lake in Tanzania
That turns everything it touches into stone—
Petrified animals washing up on shore.
I’ve known people like that:
Who drag loved ones into their waters
And send out dead things with the tide.
People who walk into your life
With poison fingers and Midas touches
That leave hearts hardened and calcified.
People who spit back love covered in salt.
I have walked back alleys and lost loves
That looked red and cracked like the water.
I have seen people
Who are calm and flat like the lake.
I have watched Beauty
Break Trust over her knee
And lay her, gentle, on the shoreline.
I have been among the bodies
Left crumbling in the waves.
Because sometimes, no amount of knowing
Is enough to keep you from the water.
Sometimes, the desire to drink
Is stronger than anything else.

– Ashe Vernon

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