The closest I ever came to a river
was thirst. It’s ok, love, I was always sad,
more or less, yeah,
from the beginning,
before there was even you. Sometimes
the river isn’t a river, but a flood deserted
by a storm. You get to know the taste.
You know it as soon it leaves you with nothing
to fill it with.
The wind plays
at being startled by my presence,
and rakes my body for wishes
my eyes have made, the silver cravings of
two coins. It is falling head
over heals to carry you over dirt,
follows as I walk across Macdonell’s Field
until peering into the Mennonite well,
I see into the neck of the heavenly earth,
and the bare brown trees circling
our extinct sun. And in each step, the ground waits
to feel what it must give into next.
What if a word could breathe on its own,
or swim in a pail which we would draw up,
and shining, coldly, let us drink from it?
I am lost in the forest.
There is no forest.
This will tell you something
of the birds,
drawing in the sky
The earth has lost
another me. The sparrows
are the seeds,
My palm, the feather
in your hair, the lashes
are the last things
Your body in darkness lives another life.
It mists the window of your room,
lays out the southerly transmigration of dreams.
Breath writes there, trails of sleeping flesh.
So, when you wake, you will think of birds.
Lips will hum the missing words.
the grey sky
with exclamations of birds,
of the free,
their loose hold.
of you escaping
the storm, me
as much as I loved you,
this her, that she,
are not meant to break
the blink of an eye
what isn’t, then
for a second,
here I am,
so that you
feel it, my
in the breeze
of your hair,
The floor’s scuffed
stricken as a cirrus sky.
Not a sound comes to me.
I miss the thunder.
I’m waiting for you,
the words for you.
I miss the lightning.
Maybe I am dirt. Maybe
I am dirt that buries you,
and it’s in me
to softly bring you water
that tastes something
like the sun.
Rumination is made with a bell,
landing in me. Drizzle scarves
the shoulders. Dampness is not the opposite
of dust. Movement sticks to its illusion,
she said one night into the sound
of my name in her body. There are only steps, she said,
against the banks of things.
I make it back inside.
Shoes squelch the marble floor,
then plunge the hall. I move into the pulse of it,
up the dead river’s flow.
I can feel your heart in me, she said.
I never called you, did I,
before you died. Maybe,
I knew too much, already.
We made love
in that TV-lit motel room,
in Vermillion Bay,
left my glasses by the bedside
digital clock, afterwards,
as you and I lay together,
I saw through a part
of you: a few strands
of your hair, the blurry channel
I left on mute, cracked,
but too bright, too.