All lakes are Swiss,
whatever their weather,
whatever their size.
Titicaca, Onega, Superior:
neutered oceans, ideas
without tides,
waters everywhere,
but waters with sides.


The Mediterranean remains a problem case,
too small to be an ocean, too large in fate
to be regarded as a lake.
Best sailed, perhaps, as a sea,
like the Caspian, the Aral, the Baltic,
the Dead, the Red, or Galilee,
open to some larger portion of the main,
its water’s body
bounded only
by its median name