A short from February, from winter days when I would visit the lake for hours and watch and wonder what was to come.

What is it to do nothing?

I am at the lake; actually, this time, not a figment, and it is a rock.

I glide forth, back, cling to the trees, which move, not because of me, but because of the wind, and they do not let me go.

I light a cigarette (but why). Cans, bottles, butts, frozen into the shore, invisible from the street. I smile instead of anything else. These are summers; winters; springs and falls. Who were you? What did you do? Why were you here?

I ask them but they do not respond. They remain in place, under their sheath, secure. My own remnant joins them. I wonder how long before the next snow, before another layer of detritus grows above, or before the next hot day, when the ice will melt, again as water, and these fragments sink to the bottom.

When I step back onto the ice, I stomp. Safe? To fall into it, for the story to be true; but no, and I step off quickly to be sure.

There seems nothing pertinent; there seems nothing at my heels.

My mind is calm, and as troubling as it is, it isn't. Troubling. It isn't troubling. My mind is calm. Empty, almost; except for each word as it comes. I want to lie, down, on the ice, not to die, but to not. Coulds, but no shoulds. No conflict.

I stand on a log, and let it roll over, move with it, then off, home, through a clearing, my mind is, too, and it is a matter of absorption, nothing more, and, certainly, nothing less.