Wish

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?

ok

Ok,

love,
here I am,
so that you
will not
find me
missing
among the
missed
words,
explanations
for each
breath, each
other –

and yet
know
there is
still
beauty, that
you
will not
feel it, my
hand
in the breeze
of your hair,
the way
perhaps
you
feel
it.

About that Can Opener you Lost

Unless that’s your voice,
calling down from upstairs,
asking again whether
I’ve seen the can opener,
I’m outside.

I’ve looked everywhere for you.
See? A dog digs digging!
Cupboard and drawer, every one agape,
like desecrated catacombs.
45 US on Amazon, you say.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been here
figuring out how long I’ve been here on my own,
thinking about,
you know, how I thought we just did
the wallpaper in that room
I could always find you in,

or how things add up
when you take yourself away
to, at least, the third floor,
without bothering to leave me
the forwarding address
that brings you back,

or the kitchen window custom fitted
in a sequin pattern dress of rain,
that seems to come down out
of nowhere,

like sadness
each drop suggests,
while the tin trash cans out there
just stammer on about its beauty.

Hope

Maybe I am dirt. Maybe
I am dirt that buries you,
and it’s in me
to learn
to softly bring you water
that tastes something
like the sun.

Coming in from the Rain

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.

Again

Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.

Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.

And now,
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.

Kioshkokwi

It rained in the kitchen
this morning.
Can I speak this way to you?
There is, after all, my passion
to consider, and your grace.
As I walked near the open sill today,
rain
breezed in, and I admitted
to myself, this feels like
a blessing might. So,
shall I
say something? After all, I
only feel it, like two
minor chords playing in their
different time, a miracle
because they steadily
enlarge
joy
from pain
But, I want you to tell me
about this thing of
hardly being born.
On Kioshkokwi River, we
paddled to Crooked Island,
south of Lost Dog Bay, and we
knelt
under a ridge of pine,
then spread ourselves into
eddies of fern and juniper,
as the storm pushed across,
and after
we lay surprised at the kind of rain
leafs and those long, untouchable
cuticles of sun can make,
without words, or praise, except
after, a spruce grouse from where we had
hid startled us, thumping up,
and coasted
through
the vivid woods.
And it drifted across the sill,
this morning, warm,
the light
turning in
a breeze against the sail of glass.
And, so, do I tell you I feel
dying here
is not quite
possible? That some things
arrive deep in night, or on
the thin surfaces of
mornings because
the days
only end, utterly.
Can I put this to words
for you, then believe that
we will continue to see
other days like
Kioshkokwi, that drifted
back this morning?
As though it rained that night,
droplets of sweat budding on
your lips, constellations
collecting along
your collarbone,
their tiny
stars emanating just beyond
the ochre nimbuses of your breasts,
celestial bodies
making
landfall
beneath me.
And, as I passed by
the window this morning,
left open all night, the rain
came in, at last
whirring through like
a river
in the air,
coming back
to life.

Last Words

I think I smiled when you said,
I’m dead to you. Last words, unoriginal,
not like you, sweetheart.
I’m going to drive from Hamilton through to Cambridge.
My mind will be as incandescent as their fields.
My metaphor will be the heart —
in keeping, at last, with your words,
under ground, devoured by
the body of dirt and the dull bones
that have turned into lead.
I’ll smile, the way a smile is a cliche,
a hole that buries things.