Issue 16 – Summer 2009 – Joe Bonomo

Joe Bonomo


Children Along Lake Michigan
stagger forward, a formless line, little impressions of brightness.  Some hold hands and march straight ahead, tightly clasped, a kind of obedience to order, but as kids will do there are others who muddy their knees, barking into the wind, or pulling away, lifted.  This is noon radiance.  They’re close to the water, the spray minting them.  I watch them pass slowly, respecting their power in numbers: little mittens, little bodies.  Some stare off into the lake’s lazy arrangement; others look toward land, the stolid buildings rooted firmly.  They rub noses lustily and dart between currents.  
          I wonder what they like better, the rhythms tossed by the white hats bobbing on the lake, or the rhythms stilled in time by man and design (see the doors that let us inside to that museum over there?)  Like they care: they laugh and squash giggles behind their hands, dying to learn the body between water and land, the one language of pure, blind running.



Joe Bonomo is the author of Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and FoundInstallations, Sweat: The Story of The FleshtonesAmerica’s Garage Band, and a forthcoming book about AC/DC’s Highway to Hell for Continuum’s 33 1/3 Series.  Recently listed in “Notable Essays” in Best American Essays, his prose appears in Fourth GenreBrevityNew Ohio ReviewStoryscapeHotel Amerika, and the “Lyric Essay” issue of Seneca Review.  He’s at work on a collection of autobiographical essays, and teaches at Northern Illinois University.