And what resists containment.
Careful to note the care of the thrush at her nest, and her attendant song, we were determined to find joy in witness. Its light would not shine except in grief, and a long record of bird notes reveals that we could scarcely see their winged grace without noting everywhere the flights and visitations of our dead friends. The substance of our trembling was never so vivid as when it flowed from us.
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?
What is today our objective isn’t one and the materials needed are no more than what we already hold, and much less, and the words for the hour are only favorites including those we’ve never said, and the challenge is to find it in us to do one small thing or better yet, no single thing, not one, so that when they come to ask us to account for ourselves any one of us might respond, We are––, and leave it there?
After the children had gone to live among the missing, after the pirates searched and left the land of broken light, our ghosts, these former vessels were everywhere.
And now. The screens rotate between sales events. First furniture, then war.
Idle hands, moving gaze. Downhill crossing grid: stucco, asphalt, concrete, sidewalk, yard. Repeat under shadow of freeway, up southern peaks. Back over yard, clotheslines, sheets into the harsh of late morning.
Find water, find ice, find the birds with your ears. Try again. They’ve gone silent. Find freeway on three sides a sudden soft hush and now a child’s laugh. Look and see her.
Barefoot and away, threading steps between oak and sage, eucalyptus, orange. Her pause in the clearing to enact the opening of stem into bud stretching petals to hills spinning. While stray cats watch, a horse looks on,
How does the question of how a world ends find any answer except in its continuance? And how does anyone describe its substance except to note how something once familiar may at once become an entirely different thing. Backyard toolshed now an abattoir, hillside flower now fanged beast. The ground beneath the next step melts and we keep on posting notes to show we are either fine or having the sort of periodic collapse that indicates a belief in non-collapse as the default. It’s the rest that’s concerning, but anybody capable of noting this knows better than to mention it. O love, why do you leave us like this? I asked her and she said Yes.
To loop a single song
until the pattern breaks
to echo ever after.
where are we
thin paper in breeze
under arches of feet
when to hold
us is to hold
I don’t like to think about Lonesome George, the last of his species wandering his island home, about the baleful way he must have looked through those ancient eyes and whether he made a sound in the hopes that another of his kind would hear it. They took him into a center in the end and studied him until he died.
But here I am anyway, perhaps because of how often I see a certain kind of look, the way its eagerness seems haunted by a particular fear, the way so much of the moment seems to be wandering, making sounds.
Before his death in 2012, Lonesome George was considered the rarest creature in the world.
Study of extreme closeups.
There is something to know about the parts that are not here.
Move the lens again. Closer and still. Guess what this is. What
looks like a forest is a few square millimeters of flower head.
And what seems like desert stones framing gem is lizard eye.
That fairytale forest is moss on rock, and the apparent geode
is squamous cells from cheek swab. Point the lens and still.
Closer and shoot again. You want to see.
The owl came for flying lessons.
She followed, remembering snow,
purging minutes from herself until
gone and she shone, tuned to the ice-
bright noon, transparent with time,
carrying only what would not be
spoken into the coming