The roar of the rapids as loud as the drizzle is soft.
Wanderers in slickers flick past,
fingers numb, barely looking.
Oh but you can see them,
the Great Blues, hopping
lonesomely from stone to stone
amid the rush of white water,
nests cold and dizzying and far.
Overhead, there is no rumble.
The tracks stand sad sentinel, drip
down to the worn pages
where Walt marks his yawp,
there, under the trestles,
above the river and the wastewater and the burnt-
out campfires, unrivaled in the rain.
this: the summersmell
of sun’s warmth smoothed
on entwined skins & their mattress promises;
his weight against the crescent of your womb
& peach moonshine on late indian half-full
nights, amber-fingered and dripping
like candleflame through open windows;
the sweat that beads on scars; the slight lightening
of irides from hardwood to hazel
in riverlight on a Sunday afternoon
under a sky like September
with clouds like a ribcage
spread in a deeper inhale.
it is enough to make you feel like drowning,
like you are being brought back
to life. some days they can pull you
from the pull of the water.
some days you simply sink.
I am dreaming again of riverafternoons
and your sunlit irides, floodlevel love
on time we borrowed until we stole.
Funny how the past you think of is never
the past that was; the present tenuous as rain
streamlit down the windows of my old place
by the river, all plateglass & whiskey;
my future self’s heart pinched between thumb
and dirt-traced forefinger, whirlpooled in muddy waters,
slipping over rocks. If I knew her now I would say
never mind the scars. There is peace even in the drowning;
the trains will sound their slow mourners’
wail over curves of forever, tonight’s tornado
warning only a siren on the horizon.