Into my new veal-skin Chelseas
I put my wallet, phone, and keys
to the flat, which was still bare.
I left them on the dock along with
my clothes and towel and a book of Mandelstam’s early poems
in English. Dove into the river.
When I got out, it was almost dark.
That par-dark seemed alloyed
to you. The water had risen nearer
the rim of the dock. Still, and warm.
Dozens of geese had gathered on the dock to roost.
I didn’t think I could be myself
without disturbing that mass repose
so I gathered my things
as quietly as I could, and moved to a nearby field.
Laid out my towel. Lay down.
I couldn’t be myself in the field either.
So I left my things where they were
and softly re-entered the river.
Anders Villani was born in Melbourne. He now lives in Ann Arbor, where he is a postgraduate fellow in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. For his MFA thesis, he received the Delbanco Prize.