His glance raised my lips
to his. I felt his reflection
on the inside of my bones.

But there were schedules, planes.
I forgot the permeable stars,
the night listening and the spin

of the Great Bear, until just now walking
the road covered in pink feldspar
split from the broken mica hills

and above, the sandhill cranes hooting.
I never saw him again.
Here the washouts, old water patterns

in sand. The years lost.
For shame! How did I let slip
the grace that made a wing

from that one glance.
I apologize to the cranes,
their determined flight

across miles of monofields.
I apologize to the swollen cataracts
sunk to a drip across granite

in the dry summer. I apologize
to the blade cutting oats,
the log cut for shelter,

the food half-eaten on the table,
the stars that follow regardless
of the engines thrown down in the dirt,

the illusions that obscured
the long-gone heat, the beat
of its pulse ringing in my hands

that touched the lips that touched
my bones that brought grief
and betrayal, time—

a measurement unlimited,
specified, repeated, destroyed,
and the migrating, the wandering.


Published in Poiesis, A Journal of the Arts & Communication