Its face dark from pining,
The lake lies placid and still

A few days ago,
Without a moment’s pause,
You had flung
Your empty chalices; and
The lake took them in
Without protest

Another day,
You rinsed your ashtray,
Draining the ash in its waters

Even yesterday,
Scorning our love
Gone sour, you had spat
Furiously on the water

At all odd hours — heedless
Of the time of day —
You had dumped your waste
And cleansed yourself

Today, recalling
None of this, you prepare
To slake your endless thirst

This is no river to carry away
Your effluents in its flow,
But a lake — placid and still

Water, gathered
In a stagnant pool,
Hoards all, losing nothing