i have drawn my circle in the sand,
in the red clay,
lit by the flickering of distant satellites.
i feel the weight of an opening,
the tire of overturned stones.
i feel an untethering.
no body of silt or charcoal or enamel,
nothing to bind the formless sound.
this is the place where bone blossoms into star.
in the sea, reflections of witch hazel burn with the heat of foundry fire,
the under-mountain's exhale.
take with you a cloak of drifting.
across cobblestone and mire,
ever on the edge of some precarious reservoir.
my garden lies dormant somewhere,
beyond walls of glass and mold-bloomed plaster,
sheltered in the rocky hinterland.
but i have found seeds growing between my shoulderblades.
ii. asphodel apartments
the sound of always running away.
moving in lockstep, always out of grasp,
that bright gleaming. i stand here among the watercress.
the air is future-warm, echo of a muddy equinox.
the marsh inhales the river.
i pace through the patterns,
watching for the moments
where things begin to repeat themselves.
the water carries apshodel mirage.
across the current, smoke-formed pillars and vertical gardens,
air pushed trickling through the blades of a fan.
trinkets are laid out on the windowsill.
a jar of keepsakes, and dormant seeds immersed in water.
iii. rivers in parallel
the ground slipped away so quickly,
splitting into parallel shapes.
i draw a long path down to the bottom of the rift.
a fog comes and washes the snow away,
taking with it all the words for respite.
i move downstream, watching echoes of people on the sidewalk.
the rain passes through them. conversations i had
and imagined having, the leylines between the streetlamps.
there is nobody to recognize me here.
each shoreline is another,
reflected through the watershed's itinerant motion.
the sand is studded with illusions half-remembered.
box-elders growing sideways across the river,
retrieved by junk-divers and pilgrims.
iv. prophecies of soil
ruins emerge from mud.
i wash my hands in the stream,
wash the taste of spruce sap from my mouth.
an echo of myself lies beneath the waterfall.
the soil reveals itself through liquefaction,
knotted bundles of chives break through the leaf litter.
a winter without ice, a thaw with no freezing.
leafless wisteria climbs up masonry scarred with patterns.
the dormant garden, rugged and unkempt,
sings quietly in its sleep.
the mud holds prophecies of spring.
a web of rhizomes and fault lines,
rills and earthworm trails spelling out the things to come.
v. geothermal prayer
milk the stones at the bottom of the lake.
open the seams between tectonic plates,
where new forms of life emerge
sightless and pure in the churning water.
such a seam exists within each person.
i reach into myself, feeling the flow of currents and coagulating ichor.
spill forth protean tendrils.
be as the moss that grows in abundance on searing volcanic plains.
i am shaken to the core, strata shifting and shearing,
seething with friction.
heat signals carry far,
etching a web into the ice.
the prayer on my skin is in the same language.
vi. far reaches
i draw a circle of cinders in the mud.
for a moment, i am untethered from the corporeal.
the smoke is white and sweet-smelling.
the grey sky whorls slowly over the marsh,
turning over vapor like the earth turns magma.
here is an iron lagoon. even in the colorless muck,
a scion of life is clawing for breath.
the far reaches of the watershed lie out of sight,
where the mountains are severed from the ground,
and bedrock is perforated into labyrinthine cavities.
echoes of tendrils pass through the inert stone.
memories of glaciers become kettle bogs,
crackling with lichen and radio static.
vii. on stone hill
fog settles over rocky pastures,
hawthorn stands, half-forgotten gardens.
the remnants of fieldstone walls riddle the grass.
rosemary and thyme creep through the outcrops of moss,
holding close their nascent flowers.
the ground is fertile with many years of ashes.
rain comes down on the heath,
loosing mud from the bedrock,
drawing lines between clouds and the horizon.
midwinter teeters on the edge of spring.
signals travel the air in confused rhythms,
carrying mountain song through the valley.
an ashen green slips through the grey.
a cup of tea, a trail of vapor,
an unsteady cairn on the wet soil.
viii. gardens between
through the cracks, color returns to my limbs.
i drink the cool air above the marsh.
i watch the bending of space,
gossamer projections, little rifts in the line of sight.
we were all born of the chasm.
we paint with red earth from the walls of the gorge,
making an earnest plea for the days to come.
radio waves like a rhizome.
the edges of a topography take form,
dimly tracing contours and pathways.
countless faceless figures connected in a web.
tired ghosts from disparate points in time,
seeking respite in the embrace of a spiral cairn.
the ground is wet with reflections.
the slope is picketed with structures half-built
and half forgotten,
with rugged, wild gardens between.
ix. document of a threshold
a flurry of snow descends through the gorge,
filling the spaces between spaces.
distance becomes a white haze.
here the soil is fed by crumbling ash trees,
their wood carved into labyrinth patterns and beetle poems.
the snow evaporates before it reaches the ground.
nothing new grows along the brook,
only distorted memories of a near future -
the green of calyptrae and larch spurs.
somewhere there is a hollow in the ground,
a glacial scar where a portal lies humming
under layers of peat and tangled lichen.
i know there are passages between the worlds.