We don’t know who we are. In Arizona and New Mexico
and Colorado it doesn’t matter. The word rock. The word river.
A burn pile can smolder underground for years. You think you put it out
and then the mountain explodes. I wish I would more quickly
recognize your suffering. Sick as sunken fruit. If I cut you
you would bleed. Lemon light of June, hovering just beyond
our mouths. A city connected by train sounds. Want moves from my arms so I use the word
beautiful. I mean mystery. Is that lightning in the distance? You say god,
the highway folds its dark arms around us, I say Grand Opening. A car for sale.
A future. I look into the light of tomorrow
and our lost babies look back. My friends stand at the ocean’s edge
while a tree tries to grow on a ridge. We march the beach’s ribcage.
A baby, a branch. The waves, cellular. The fact makes it less frightening, J says. Grief needs
a shape to soften in. I think about your face in my kitchen and a pine blasts
around my chest. I seek out language
to say my love into, an animal blinks. Someone is dying
on the road right now. People are waiting for who
won’t come home. That is a lava dike,
the rancher explains. A crack forms, heat flows.
Sometimes we fucked so much
a gap closed, healed over, and yellow flowers
floated. We went out
into the world at an angle that oiled it: craggy bluffs, a ragged wet
distance now between us. I have been working
my entire life to love you best
in this instant. I am failing, still, at least a little
and this is why I keep
waking up and falling down. Ride into the valley. See the mountains
on either side, asking nothing, palms open, keeping us dying
until we know better to die.