12 June 2015

South Fork

last summer 
our love spooled down
as easily + joyously
as the green-brown river
that rolled by in dappled sunlight
outside the window
while my fingertips washed over your back 
and our lips met
like how bright water unendingly
meets the river stones 
for the first time

we floated our bodies in that river
just our smiling faces above the surface
two salmon lazily drifting + finning 
in a deep curve of the flow
the crinkle of your crow's feet when
your eyes smiled at me
could stop my heart's crashing
for two seconds, next
rebounding with a burst of
joy + gratitude

and there was the beauty of standing
in your arms      in the dusk
on the suspension bridge
across the glinting dark current
brilliant white stars in liquid black blue
blinked between fire-scarred limbs 
of ponderosa above us
we talked like thirst that
took a long time to quench
your skin tasted like Payette summer
and the air was full of warm bark vanilla
sun-browned crackling hillsides and
the scent of your tender soft hair

my heart was cracked open so wide


now it's December, and we have no river 
between us to connect the flow
and the land is frozen, anyway. The sun's 
spare angled rays haven't thawed the grass
for weeks
I yearn + ache for you; I want to forge 
a new riverbed that inexplicably runs
between the Nooksack and the Weber
But I can't push water, it only
swirls back behind my arms, no matter
how hard I try
So I get creative, freeze one icicle to another
to another:
try to create a frozen streamlet
to reach out across the landscape 
but I can't tell if you're reaching too
this chain of icicles is damn fragile
(and no fish could swim in it anyway
which makes it feel even less alive)

and so I'm trying to set it down
leave it be
wait until the earth warms
and we are both back on the banks 
of the Salmon's South Fork
to see if it still sings for us
the same way

I'm homesick for the life 
I want to have
as I wait out winter


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