You can’t bring anything back, so we do this other thing. We walk outside alone at different times. Look at the moon, we say in our heads. Then in a message. A photo in the message. See the moon. Its light a soft wash for the nests in upper branches, for the cliff’s edge, the canyon brush, the witness. There is work tomorrow, and this moment won’t be reversed. Look, we say, when the other prayers won’t come.
The day they carried me off.
Do you have a destination? One was saying, and I was an elegy to be written, then misplaced, then found again by a crow in the early morning light. Let me be part of your nest, crow. Your families tell the best stories, and I watched you pull the mist off the road like a blanket with your collective beaks. I was looking for notes, but the walls kept sliding. It’s true that reason never gets us there all the way. I looked for a better map like I looked for my notes but after the crows found me, I was home. I did nothing. I was carried and everyone was talking. My voice slid to my ears and my will beneath their weight. The musk of their feathers. It was all I ever wanted. I thought of all the times I had looked up to see them, watching as if working something out. What took you guys so long? I heard in my ears, the joke on me laughing.
Where did you go? Where we went was once a sea, but the sea was gone. Hulks of ships cast shadows on the sand. It’s these and the saxaul, dust, and the red sun.
The face of this, being. The radiance of this alarm.
The sea of before had fed surrounding towns: sturgeon, flounder, caviar. Now tourists come, for pictures. We are among them.
What matters more, the beginning or the end?
Sand blows. Moments sweep past us.
Now would be the time for a hawk overhead. There are none. We are the birds of prey, clipping our wings, the dream and death of flights of sons. The sun.
A Giant Inland Sea is Now a Desert, And a Warning for Humanity, in The New York Times.
It’s fair enough to speak of perpetual mourning and mean it, and to wonder if keys were made for losing, but there is nothing of fairness, nothing deserved about finding at the end of any of these losses neither keys nor answers to any of the questions about where they went, but here this sudden hand, its open offering, the press of its continual pulse.
Dawn, and time slides down the ache of long sight. Not blind, only blinding sometimes, having offered the eyes one at a time to visiting creatures while still unripe, like here, take it, finding relief at being done seeing what we thought we knew, finding in it only the too-muchness of what is not. But this is about how life when it grows will vine and bud around and through and within the spaces of our missing parts. So, sight returned, and our hands, holding as we walked back into this our lives, still unknown, on the unsteady limbs of newborn foals still wet with the flood of our birth.
Still life with axial shift.
Something low and lithe creeps around the edges of a dream that has me pushing hands away so I can get my face into breathable air. A passing thing, it leaves the lasting mark of its metaphor, this lens. It won’t be replaced. Like that, the body told back to its life, her silenced hunger now a howl. What blessing can hold at a table like this, quaking above the groan of this rumbling earth? One of us notices. The other is primed to accept whatever comes as naturally granted, another gift for losing before it is opened. There is no sense to what is shown with no figuring and nothing to explain. Nothing, I will say, if anyone asks. Go back to sleep.
If a body in captivity calls across an ocean to another, does the witness behind the call of another law hear the original cry from behind the wall of a secondary set of laws imposed by nation?
To find the gnarled bend, its dripping hush, the moss-encrusted gathering space for unruly congregations of ferns, witches’ whiskers, and hazel gloves––and be enchanted to protect the wild, wet, crawling danger of this womb with hope only to be near it––and know that if there is anything here to be tamed, it is in you.
Inspired by the ongoing movement to protect the temperate rainforests of the UK and Ireland.
Consider the weight of water after rains against fault lines and the weight of our collected lives, how it takes not so many earthquake memories to learn that it is a matter of time until the next one, but this is the land of billboards training the witness into submission to a hunger that drives on to speed out branching interstate miles into state route highways flying toward the next bite, flesh riding the wind of the last win into the next investment cheered by a chorus calling Act Fast, Act Now, Don’t Miss. Out. It’s coming, they told us, the screens our suns in constant revolution around us, projecting new worlds of pleasure and war. Something rumbled and we caught each other’s eyes, looking up. What is that? one of us asked, and the voice of an invisible speaker said Now.
The breadth of our breath.
I suppose something like this–––?
must have carved and sanded the long
lines of my grandmother’s gaze
to the texture of skin, its paper-thin drape
like gift wrapping nearly off,
the long dissonance of ambient noise
resolved in the music of her