The Light Behind
Tipped woodchucks. A thick claw
of an afternoon’s structure pulling
down the clouds. Light
like a curved spine of radiance
widening and spreading like solace
on the heads of the gum trees.
I landed on this fur of a land
to let all of nature pierce through me
and wash me off you and to smelt
of itself a new cell for my life.
Everywhere is a bound book
of burrows. Torn pages of warrens.
Mangled paperbacks of tunnels
soaked from the flashflood
of protest the previous week
had egested on the land.
How we love tightly is how we stay
vastly apart. And forgetting you
I step onto the pleasure trip
of exploring anew all of the openings
and closures of all the feelings
we’ve fueled thinly all these years.
Being here makes an alien out of me
and in the spell of it all
I notice how deeply I’ve missed all
of that floury stranger humming
in you. Letting go barely let go.
Winds chuckle. Thick woods make
a dense undergrowth of the landscape.
I walk into the dark grove of it all,
quietly as the afternoon murmurs
its susurrus on everything.
In the Valley that Day
A bell-like voice, an afternoon
ringing chatter and rain, stock
doves in their purple-patched rebellion,
wing-barred, their notes as tonal
as the language falling
from the people’s tongues.
Hoopoes hop and go.
Kids grip their mother’s hems
as though a stitch is a shield,
and an edge a sheath. Coming here,
putting on the beach wear of a new life
I’d tried each day in my former life
trying to sew, my body, folded
like an apparel, longs to be fashioned
again. My being is a vesture
that wants to be reforged.
I yearn for the bright duffel
of the families murmuring past me.
A patched soul alone, I reach
for the plaid and plush of bodies
loving the water like they hope
to be loved. A life here
is fastened somehow to a life
elsewhere, and my life, no different,
is tailored neatly and colorfully
into you. And you’re the body afar
that has peeled me off itself,
and disrobed me too early
of all of its muscles and bones.
The eyelashes of the landscape
drop on our heads like an augury.
A blur of the sun rolls in. A breeze
like your breath wafts
so gently and warmly against my skin.
An Azure Mesh
Auricular patches, a promontory
like a bird crown above the country.
Stripes of the sun line each block
like a streak of longing.
This is where I stretch into the land’s
secret pocket. I hear your voice
in its song box. All you say,
I guess, is all I never heard
by the rump of my solitude.
A flight, a walk and a sail
are what distance plants
into this spot. A belly of a hill
underpins my legs. I stare
long from its bulge, look
with all of my being, hoping
I catch the nape of your presence
somehow. I hope you hum
past me, wade past me
in the river of my yearning,
swoop down to my toes and breathe
on me, once more, with your warmth.
Noon today, I swallow the sun-
baked instincts of the country, smell
the rawhide of its warning, and hold
a bird’s eye view of the blue fiber
of our love, elevated thinly atop
an azure mesh of towers
and floor plans and stream.
Jawless face, a frilled beauty
of your body finning in the blue
water. Skull roof of a moment
of bones, slowly shifting within
our bright bodies while we wade
through our schooling tide of conflict.
Thinking we could drown a feud,
we float—cartilages like tissues
of strife drifting, vomers
like the shape of voice boxes
roaring, blow past in one fluid
motion, and, seeing you shudder
for the first time, swirling
with each leaping purl of doubt,
I swim back to our frozen past,
unbroken, yet, whole
as it is, it neither moves nor melts.
It neither dissolves nor resolves.
Fusing into this last skin-
dive of affection, I crave for your lobe-
skinned love, I fondle the caudal
fin of your crawl atop water, I let
every scute of the moment fall
off my skin, and look at you
with eyes that could only capture you
this free, with a stare that waits,
then breaks, making itself again
within a scattering of clavicles
and bowfins and gills.