There is none here,
only cedar, fir and oak. He says,
your heavy breasts, your nipples 
sucked by many children press
into my palms and all you do is watch
lobelia in your window
box. There is no lobelia 
here, only camas. Blue muscle 
flexes a ligament
and turns the native soil.
How the blooms taste
delight and feed the winter
bulb starch
we all need.
My face forgotten (or how I would draw it:
triangles, one heavy based and pointed up, the other
slight and down)
follows the sun’s escape. Solid.
This gravity. The body.
All I know of grace.



Do you believe the body? The stone wall extends around the field but
leaves a gap. I could enter but go to the wall knowing hands have placed it
here, green grown over green, my fingers through the moss and there is
heat. The smell of salt will follow.

If I don’t take the wall apart my eyes are distracted into shadow, a man
steady with another as they pile stone. Their hands reach for each right
fit. To touch the green stone is to hold their century, the day dissolved,
a million scattered apprehensions.

The hands, the grasp. The baking heat. This is believing rhythm even when 
desire is a stain and moss on moss and rock. Belief bent over mind. The
earth holds it––the long wall––and springs up all around it. Manufactured––the
extension and the gap I can pass through. But I believe the body. This is
the way of laying stone.



A good picture 
deserves a frame. The man.
His penetration whole. She
is at last engaged; their faces turn
to each other. Pleasure 
is the wrong word. It is years 
before I realize
only a woman can hold a man, his awkward fruit,
and make the seed complete.
Mark this. Years before I enter
the page like the artist did his canvas,
wish only for his raw
subject; one hand in his pocket
he plays their bodies, thinks nothing
for arousal. Shame. Desire. How he learns to love the long line,
each back separate and (unlikely)
faces turned to one another.
How he brushes from his belly, how he learns now
to love sepia.



I might know by listening,
hands in big paw
tracks. Wolves. Quebec
nights. Smell the snow. The edge
in their howling; it opens the skin on the flower
inside. Do you hear
the painting on the cave
wall? Silver and ochre, one light.
The past needs its own
ruins. In that very distance
the end of morning pinned its white
hour to my brow. I will open
room in my mouth. How the wolf loves
winter. Nose to snow she tracks
heat. I turn
my face into the tearing wind. Tonight
I am calling down Orion. Something keeps
moving without looking back.