Epic Walked Brokenly (Approaching Piute Pass)
 

Cross five quick streams: friction permits surfaces to marry, but test the rock
before committing. By now a mile is ritual, dichroic blue wing a vision animal,
feet animal animals. Kneeling stream, do boots dream in vibram of Humphries
Peak? Pilgrim idea, saunter me

                                                                across the tinseled strands: ledger this,
dry is the bargain, and listen, not so many mosquitoes. Tapestry polemic to
filibuster, I’m still a soliloquy. (Body says, minwax the sextant with the knowledge
inlay, the one that ecologies small gray voles to specimen sheets.)

                                                                                                                      And being a body,
water warbles, expect vanishing. All my verbs are granite carvers. Enough raindrops
in Barstow smell mirage. Pipe the bauble to the coast, I can’t be farmed. Exploit
the brine beneath Permian shamble, the Crystal Geyser plant in Cartago. Look:
my glaciers, wandering into poems. Who rivulet. Who deliquesce.

                                                                                                                               Spotted
orange lilies above Piute Creek, why not love my pixels? Because she labors,
labors, the mutter heart. Use a pocket knife to open the moleskin. Camera
the gore-tex couple looking vagabond. And doesn’t a waterfall pageant gravity?
Ask the anchorite why she works, go ahead, ask her.

                                                                                                  In 1937 a gourd was dipped
in a high Sierra lake and transported to Badwater, Death Valley. On the side
of a bank in Lone Pine, mural it: Wedding of the Waters.   Head it all to the pass
where it’s not so history, pilgrim. Gather shy alpine sedum, armfuls of falling.
A way to break into this world.

 

 

 

 

Conness Creek, Yosemite
 

Press the body
of snow into the body

of melt
till a roadbed
foams with poppies  

Whitewater 
Brown toad

smaller than a large
toe but not pebble not

stone
in the stream’s
waterclock

houring granite
heat

Flow a syllabary
even if the river’s
underground

the watershed
a dark

attending
of lapped fields

Not yet larkspur
being early but

shieldleaf
threading
earthshine to bells

The goldgreen
startle

of barely
hearing
(lean into the cradle)

what jaspers the beads
spark witness

in approachers

 

 

 

 

Mary Cisper is a recent transplant from New Mexico to the Bay Area where she is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her work has previously appeared in Field, Lana Turner, Newfound, 1110, and South Dakota Review, among other places.

Read poetry by Mary Cisper previously appearing in Terrain.org Issue 23 and Issue 26.

Photo of snowy tree in Yosemite National Park by Aubrey Laughlin, courtesy Shutterstock.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons