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    Friday, December 01, 2006

    "Winter in a Western State"

    I still thirst for frost,
    the porous necktie of nuded boughs,
    winter's chandelier on ledges;

    Half-longing for air
    that snacks on my bones
    and resuscitates my arm hairs,
    O cannibal wind! O wound wind!

    The glassy stalactites that double
    as wolf-mouths, snarl-sharp and ready
    to pounce on this etherized flesh

    And skies like bleached denim
    pulled over the horizon's split legs,
    the white that fills an infinity loop

    I still miss dancing for the
    solstice in mile-thick thickets,
    our arms the wings on totems, spelling
    out vowels from profane alphabets,

    But on this coast, the fever never
    breaks, the terra-black storm
    never shudders up the daily sediment

    Thunder's abdominal growl doesn't
    rustle our restless half-sleeps,
    suture the tears of incalculable half-lives

    Birds don't leave or return,
    pock the air en masse like
    a new world plague or a dusty
    smattering of day-stars

    Skin won't meet skin on
    especially furtive terms, conspiring
    and conjoining to push out the chill

    I still remember my city
    as an empress huddled in ermine;
    Tonight, it's falling fast enough, the
    weatherman says, to bury her completely

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