On Loss


Rattlesnake Canyon

I.

I have had this body all my life, but
rarely have I loved it : In the past it was
too demanding : Now I fill it with hard
breathing, oil and spices, worship : I fill
it with bread and honesty : I spend
afternoons anointing it : I am awed
by how it opens

II.

I send you sounds of the river
because I’m deathly afraid that you
will leave : I think if I can lure her with
beautiful music, she will choose to build
her home inside of me
: Come love me
with your unending night : The darkness
that folds and presses itself like dough
on the kitchen counter

III.

The wind in the canyon stirs something
immortal, something ravenous : In
everything there is a sense that the pace
must quicken : I sleep on stone, eat
mango in the sun, I know that the time
is coming : A name is passed from the
tongues of trees to the river’s hungry
mouth : This is the spectacular life of
the body : The gentle sense of falling,
the arc of it : Forward momentum, sour
taste on tongue : We are most graceful
when we do not see it coming