desiring: a north country poem


Elaine at Rooster Rock


the larchwood dropped her needles
at my feet today, a carpet red and gold
across the coals of where the blacksmith
long departed, forges iron rods and nails
for caskets to bring up the mustard ore

walk softly, she commanded, moving
only when the aspen quakes and pickerel
dive deep to dream—take nothing, least of all
the sticks that petty drummers beat in tattoo
and false chivalry—reactors hold no heat

fire is why
I’ve called you
fire is why
you’ve come

the trail of your desiring
surrounds you now, an asymptote—
he is the curve that holds your line
in place, you are his firmness
mirrored, current to his charge

the ashes of the deadened
tongues you both acquired for
pity’s sake they blew away
the instant you set down the
basket filled with femurs on
the very day he lit the dynamite
that broke off consort with

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