In a Blink

Last night, as Jupiter
danced with Venus,
I thought of you

and you and you,
and all the lights,
in our varying

brightnesses, depending
on the day,
or early dawn as it were,

and how,
when we come together,
and move apart,

it is enough
to break a heart,
or open one,

these many arrivals
and departures,
while Antares

blazes on, a light
that left for Earth
600 years back,

such a long time
and short
time ago.

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Bridges

This old train bridge,
smelling of creosote,
says Please Do Not Climb,
but instead my urge
is to lie down in the river,
to let water cold as glaciers
from the white mountains
fill me everywhere
with the clarity
of melted sky.

On the trail, an anomaly
of shredded grass,
a tuft of fur.
What raucous
happened here?

I look for eagles in the tallest tree
and instead I see a robin,
the most regular of birds,
perched on the pinnacle of a branch
where sometimes the eagles are.
Well, I can see those in my own backyard,
and still I am moved
by this morning,
by the thin pane of ice
that barely exists atop the shaded wetlands
stinking of living sulphur.

The cattails are frozen
like rodents roasting on spits,
it’s easy to laugh
at one’s own thoughts,
equal parts frost and sunshine
on a morning in early spring,

I know that water under the bridge
is already a thing,
and also, I would be hard pressed
to say it any better,
standing here on this bridge as I am,
with time passing swiftly underneath
and water, the color of smoke,

and perhaps it is silly
that we say a thing at all,
becoming so focused on the river
that we forget about
the mountain.

Night River

River swollen with
the June side of spring
runs bulge to bank

even as I sleep,
broken brambles swept
sideways into white

water wearing
brown borrowed earth,
liquid siege

like swift time
toward a downstream
dream as the night rain

comes down
from a lightning sky, drop
by drop by deluge

to the sea, past
the rocks now smooth
with the rush of it,

no more resistance
to the flood of it
as everything softens

like stone and like
golden sunrise on the gift
of another morning.

Tether

There is so little time
in the dark, my arm
draped round
your shoulders,
and yet so much,
throughout the passing
of one night, our bodies
turn this way
and that, fold one another
into the soft cradle
of sleep,
and in a love

that breaks our hearts
and mends them,
sends ripples
down the tunnel
of time and into paintings
not yet dreamed.
Oh, the brevity
of breath inside
a night room,
your hand in mine,
and also eternal.
One brush of lips

to lips adds forever
to the story. I cannot say
how it will end, though
it has already begun –
the moment
our hands pull back
that first curtain of sunlight,
we will already
be making our way
toward the open
window. Life is a balloon
inside us,

a spaciousness
filled by daily breath,
until at last our bodies
are lighter than this life
and we float
into the sky.
In the dark, my arm
folds round you
like a tether. We are timeless
and we are time, quietly adding
to the story of things,
even as we sleep.