Athena

She sleeps on the rock.
Laying on her back, she folds her legs.
Like kneeling in the air.
The storm will come
From valleys and from peaks.

Southpaw

The ache in my shoulder,
every night, the game.
In that life, I was, ultimately,
a lefty, wrapping up the start
with ends. Since then, the replays
can’t win against the crap calls
blasting dirt, the eyes that misread hands.
The remains of those endless remains
is the smoke in, the spit in
my glove I kissed, I prayed to,
making my pitch, once more,
for relief.

Concession Rd. 7

I’m beginning to doubt even what I do not see,
in front of me. I cannot account for the fridge door,
opened wide. I can’t say why I ordered coffee.
If they stopped me now, asking, who’d confess to speeding
past the limit? This is less plain than it looks.
I must direct myself to write down each thing I forget, to come as close
as I can come to things that are moving away — they’re hints,
I remind myself. They’re side roads that let me imagine
the taste of leaves in their trees, paper-thin dust on the tip of
the tongue.

On 6th Line Road

A second rain today.
When you opened the
door to your car
and I got in,
we were
strangers again — except
for your green scent.
As if you had
driven by a
third time, your
directions cut by
second thoughts.
As if the earth had come
somewhere from the sky,
shining with newly wet grass.

The Still Time

The Still Time

— By Galway Kinnell

I know there is still time —
time for the hands
to open,
to be filled
by those failed harvests,
the imagined read of the days of not having.

I remember those summer nights
when I was young and empty,
when I lay through the darkness
wanting, wanting,
knowing
I would have nothing of anything I wanted —
that total craving
that can hollow a heart out irreversibly.

So it surprises me now to hear
the steps of my life following me —
so much of it gone
it returns, everything that drove me crazy
comes back, as if to modify the misery
of each step it took me into the world;
as though a prayer had ended
and the changed
air between the palms went free
to become that inexplicable
glittering we see on ordinary things.

And the voices,
which once made broken-off, parrot-incoherences,
speak again, this time
speaking on the palatum cordis,
saying there is time, still time
for those who can groan to sing,
for those who can sing to be healed.

North Bay Fire 72

The backcountry hasn’t found its way back into rain
for weeks. Fires breathe in dark green between
Lehay and Makobe. Is rain the manifestation of touch?
Tenuous lightening spreading, like the shadows
of low clouds over Maple Mountain?
It feels so much when you barely feel it.
The skin turns spirit.
I’ve followed them on the maps for days.
Despite what we feel, they’re not out of control;
something within’s forming a single path
to all the rivers in the body.

Eye

At the green edge
of the Atlantic
on a floor of shells,
like bullet casings,
you found a stone ,
a perfect circle,
partly air,
flat down
the middle.
You peered
through.
Only I saw,
inset,
the eye
of a
storm,
the jewell.

Atlantic

All I see are lines
that weave endings.
Begging, knee-fallen,
regardless.
Ninety percent
is us, you know,
particles of light
fossilized in sand.
For the time being,
footprints
form the jagged
cuneiform of lakes,
flowing in step with
their shadows.
We will never be here.
Though here,
in these lines
of whitecaps, the hem
of your blue dress,
floating as always.

Infidelity

After I slip in
next to you,
your tiny body
curls like a centipede,
I touch.

I sleep,
though, the picture
you left on the wall does not,
your elbows already
folding into dark wings
and your body weightless,
leaning half-way
into shadow,
transforming,
perhaps into
a raven
this time.

I stand,
and look over
the sheets,
fallen like
skin from flesh.
I’d go to you,
perhaps
crawling
low as an ant,
perhaps
to say
that I too see the man
in the bed,
who resembles me.

That, he is a rock
who I want to turn over
and find the insects
that ravens love.
But, he cannot wake.
He’s tried.
He cannot even dream.