It covers everything, a glossy January rind
along tires. Sunny days have brought it out,
burned away the ice, left 
the calcified tidelines to gloat
on the hoods and sun-warm trunks 
of cars queued up along the curb,
parking close as they can get
to each other, to the raised 
sidewalk that’s buried
beneath the dirt crust next to the neon-lit
sign for the funeral home.
The body of the boy we knew is still 
inside, the cheeks teased 
back to cheery life with rouge.
The ice on the canal
the faulty floor through which he descended
blazing on the back of his Arctic Cat
is black as slate
which means it’s thin
and boys on the shore
throw aimless stones that yield
ricochets with laser sounds.
The outdoor rink is bare, festooned
with bits of the Canadian flag
fragments of the maple leaf
glistening starlike after storm.

From Vacationland by Ander Monson, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright © 2005 by Ander Monson. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Tupelo Press.