Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Rivers converge, the narrow rocky ones,
the placid and the fierce, all tumbling
toward the sea and I am on a gentle bank
beside the least of these. Bright water eddies
around twigs and leaves, tucks into nooks
of pebbles and weeds. It is a reluctant stream,
content it seems to meander beneath a canopy
of cottonwood and plum. I dip my fingers
into this languid brook and bring them to my lips.

I am wanting salt, a citrus wind, silver wafers
of sunlight strewn atop a restless tide. But for me
there are stave oaks and dull-hued ladybirds
that chat among the upper limbs. I engage the sky
in conversation, send my thoughts like puffs of smoke
into the Texas blue, where I imagine them as clouds
bound for fond horizons. Back inside I gild feathers
and snip tin. A steady rain of rust falls into my lap.
What can I send down the skin-deep Trinity;

a hammered heart? disgraced relics? I find the world too big,
my hands too small. All the gifts I fashion are heavy, riddled
with imbroglio. They sink, reliably, in the silted bed,
like stub nails in dry pine. Still I adorn my fallen nest
with bits of lace and parchment, wax the brittle hull
of sticks and clay. It is a prayer of sorts, a burnished faith
that leaves my hands to find the current. Far downriver
the delta flowers all bow their saintly heads
for every passing tender that lusts for charity.

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