Here on the bottom,
I push my fingers into the mud,
with all the music of the world,
muffled and receding.
There is no hand.
The sun cuts the gray and sheds itself
on leaves that blur in lines,
faded and unreal as memory —
a sediment heavy as stone
and the all-devouring dream.
A Cooper’s hawk is winding upward —
the alarm in his scream is lost
in this inward pressure,
the caress of cold water —
the collected rain that runs from this place.
There was still so much to say.
Slowly everything is carried away —
voice and vision,
wind and water,
blood and bone.
Everything is lost at last to its turning.
What was it frightened you so?
We dream without acting —
without risk —
and is the pain born of bare truth
any more or less aching than withholding?
I am in it again —
the animal that wakes and stretches in the bones —
I am walking away from words —
those dangerous words we use but won’t speak.
There is a something in the blood that sings
to soothe your wounded eye —
a music we won’t face
unless the animal is overt.
Reason circumscribes it,
and again we hold our tongues.
A clarity in the threads of green and gray —
and rainbows of small birds,
somehow more brilliant for the absence of light —
leaps out ahead and leads us on.
The last thing we want is to lie,
but this silence is not the way to truth.
I want to carry this weight of spring
hidden in your raw eye —
a truth slow as honey.
Imbibe sorrow sweet
and weave a wind for uplift,
but my wing’s all tied about with stones.
The keys are elusive
and a shroud of fog hugs the riverbend
where you wait.
And all we are —
we are all the shadow of shadow.
Let it be heavy as it needs.
We can both sink to the bottom.
Once I lost my words,
but found a breath
to fuel this fire
that rises green like spring.
We burn for the new.
I don’t know how
or when it was.
We are all in battle array,
but ready to submit,
and go down to the bottom
where the dark takes us.
And I want you down on the floor.
And I want you up in the moon.
And I want this solitary constancy —
this rise and fall of breath,
as you come and go,
and come and go,
We walk the same moon,
in a proximity defined by language,
rather than space.
Loving the night,
we are in love with light,
and always at the start
think a season enough for turning —
(was a time it was).
The world goes faster as it slows.
The circling hands clench,
but do not hold us.
And we let the mother take us.
There is no resisting a tide
that crashes and turns
so far beyond our understanding.
The mother takes us every time.
With a wicked sense
but no eye that could see
we sought —
but could learn no kind
There is this language of turning —
(coyote hunts the night) —
and I am lost to it.
Always there is the forgetting,
but the moon has spilled its silver on us again.
and again —
a clockwork dream
that hides then reveals
We haunt the constant return.
We sing out! —
and are our own again.
The words are begging at the door.
We all want out.
Our jaws ache and throb with withholding,
and we’ve grown a resistance to these medicines.
We wait for the break and the bend —
lose track in the make and the mend.
But we can feel your imminence.
And here are tires on the street.
And here are feet on the porch.
And here is a key in the lock.
the unspoken will dissipate,
and the sun will catch
all those things that want to live.