Saturday, April 13, 2013

What the stones sing

There's weight in my limbs,

stones I keep in deep pockets,

keepsakes from places I've wandered.

They sing:

Take me back to the creek

where you ran before dawn, the moon

a slice in the sky. Your soles

making paths that circled from the north

side to the south, connected by foot bridges. 

Some days, after the sunrise, when sleep

kept you late, like a clingy lover, 

you'd run farther east 

alongside the almond orchards. 

Take me back to the ranch road, 

the ocotillo blooming red, 

the small herds of pronghorns 

around the next bend, 

the low white clouds

a pillowy staircase

you could almost reach with a leap. 

Take me back to the City, 

walk the Highline at dusk, 

the full moon rising 

right of the Empire State Building. 

Take me back to your sick bed, 

the place where you rested, 

the year when tiny bodies

took over your body. 

The stones are singing me back

across years, as I row

this new bed, the dogs sleeping,

the man beside me sleeping,

the California poppies still just

seed and feathery leaves,

the plum tree reflecting

moonlight--and I write,

my pencil a small oar I row

as the stones, this weight on my body

sings me back.

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