Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gasoline

By Margaret Atwood
From her collection entitled The Door

Shivering in the almost-drizzle
inside the wooden outboard,
nose over gunwale,
I watched it drip and spread
on the sheenless water:

the brightest thing in wartime,
a slick of rainbow,
ephemeral as insect wings,
green, blue, red, and pink,
my shimmering private sideshow.

Was this my best toy, then?
This toxic smudge, this overspill
from a sloppy gascan filled
with essence of danger?

I knew that it was poison,
its beauty an illusion:
I could spell flammable.

But still, I loved the smell:
so alien, a whiff
of starstuff.

I would have liked to drink it,
inhale its iridescence.
As if I could.
That's how gods lived: as if.