Lake Havasu

Lisa Wells is a poet and essayist. Recent work appears in Third Coast, The Believer, Austin...


Detectives discovered a divot in the sapling
where the killer tested his garrote,
improvised from baling wire.

He’d been casting for necks when I stepped off
the bus this morning, moist towel of Dramamine
girding my brain. I was sitting in the Travel Center

dining room, near the wall of shotguns
and plasticized bass, when a child came to offer me
the leash of her balloon. Lake Havasu Sunrise

Rotary Dance & Derby. My reflection in the Mylar
and that of the girl—were bent.
I remembered you slept at a rest stop

off the 40, in the backseat of your mother’s car,
teeth eroded to nubs by all the scavenged
citrus fruit. I’d like to say

kissing you stalled the wonder if
my mouth could stand its own endurance. I’m sorry
I mistook you for a killer. All my life

I’ve been confused. A man moves his quaking hand
inside my tights and weeps—don’t like the thing he does
but I eat the Poptart after.

Outside this window, boats stock
the reservoir with carp. Heavy rigging drags
the aqueduct for evidence.


|| Grace Coolidge and Helen Keller
Helen Keller’s Self-Perception
All faces are lies—we adjust them to match the selves we want to present—but the faces of the blind show the difference…