2 min read



It seems to come to me only when I am quite far from it - that is, when the chances of my trying to tame it are next to nothing - so that what I am left with is trails -
just scratches on a surface, jitters of a tight hand, in this dominant tongue - clumsier and busy to know,

it's the sun beating down on the white willow, and the blank zone,
what cannot be read by finger or eye -

misreading of bird-talk - buffalo saddles moving in between the crumbling hills in the badlands, more jewels everywhere in the cracks between streams,
round and soft and glinting and setting,
with snakes in the gullies and snakes in the grasses

You come back to me at the strangest moments - sitting on the overground underground, and browsing telephone poles.

common heart ache - what fills us is still mountainsong - the cry of an independent, indignant, fighting, beauty-making warrior heart. here I am held fast, making the same choices that I seek to condemn.

Only with this racket I can start to hear it all, as we move above the noise floor.

now we run between sweet and salty seas,
a field just long enough to lose sight of the steeples that surround us

we're walking, just us three, and the ghost of every one we've known
the rows are all thistle and dried grass,
cornflower blue twisting out of half-dry ground

and we're counting our steps as thin drops of water fall from a sky that promised no rain

promise me it will never rain,
or at least promise me that the rain won't fall to ground

promise me that the we'll stay dry among the falling waters
or at least that we'll have a fire still to warm us, hold on to our sparks

promise me that even when we're soaked and shaking,
last end of our table burnt for fuel,
that there will still be some song in the air

that we'll return to this place in our minds
a small garden with high walls
a promise between us and earth