The sun settles
on the far side of the river,
under cover of cottonwood, oak, and elm;
in the shadow of grain silos,
the Union Pacific trestle
offers no sure footing, my love:
we either follow, or fall.
I might remain idle
here on the east side of the levee,
but for your blinking in the wind,
your shortness of breath,
and the slow screams which
I heard on your waking;
I could hardly condemn you
to another restless night
on these sweaty sheets.
Our feet form a strange forest
for bullfrogs, chiggers, fireflies,
and copperheads, our hands
a trembling bower, mosquito cover;
we have nothing, we are blind,
our breath barely mixed with the
exhalation of cicadas, our spirits
so far removed from any ancient altar,
our tongues so torn from each other
that we form monosyllables,
yet hear nothing at all.
God answers back from the pulse in your neck;
the river refuses to bend.