We crouch over a cable bridge. Water bugs hold the creek skin. Catfish breathe the muddy bottom, sycamore roots branch at bank side. Wind fills in what vision misses and birds float down to snake sounds. Friends, plants, animals, your vertical strength: lichen curve the rock face, a heavy sky and months since rain. Red fungus in the brown moss. The current strikes my legs, feet lost downstream.
Eve of the Animals
Snow surface of fields, crushed stone borders a barn darkens first from corn stalks. A plow scrapes the road: run a hand to the shadow where you must be. Gone, you are blacker than that tree against the sky. See this bird turned in a palm. The stiff angle of wings to body opens your beating hands, lifts the brow grown over eyes. But see clear as day or moon now risen full like the fish: hard mouth bitter as yours who will not speak but breathes the sea, pumps its gills against its scales: the lightbulb by the side door of the next farm headlights circling in front memorized like the dusty corner of a room: the wolf whose ears rise in points sharp as teeth with all the stars fixed on its coat, leg clamped in a trap: tongue bit on ice and gravel voice barked on a rough head of leaves fingers folding and unfolding light.