Another Risen Hour
My evenings as a male dancer
were similar to my Sundays as a piano teacher
in the church of the uncertain.
When I stretched my long self out
as the Rattlesnake Grade, I was pure road
above rising mounds of canyon.
A stained-glass sun poked into my tar,
into my gravel. Cadmium light scraped
the next moment from the current beat-beat-beat.
Even paths that eroded into hill
had a longing for more and more sky,
as if to lead this way and that
in the name of why not.
The wind along the river thrummed
a backbeat into the bones
of my knees. All you could do any day
was struggle another risen hour
until they shot the next traitor.
Piano teachers, county roads.
A highway the authorities had always suspected:
a snow plow,
a g-string flung into the audience,
piano keys freed from particular sounds.
I don’t want Lucy’s basalt cliffs
interfering anymore with my blue lake.
Okay, now I will mention small streams
that connect one thing to many other things
as if her smile
might not be enough to get the river flowing again.
I’m not calling Lucy this morning
in preparation for not calling her
tomorrow, all week, for months, forever.
Hear what you want. My ears grow
large. People disagree with me.
Touch my arm. I’m too hot to walk across
though not nearly a desert without stories
of water or successful migration.
That dense distant green?
A closely held forest, an orchard, a vineyard
no one expected. Our village:
the place where we grew up too narrow
for real love: our village naked under trees.
Maybe there’s someone there
under her clothes. Isn’t the luminous air
kind of humble today?
Matter-of-fact, slightly surprising,
as if there’s a whole neighborhood of us
ready for a kiss?
She’s not from this town.
Photo of luminous lake courtesy Shutterstock.