Runcible Spoon

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          Poignancies of August


Sometimes I worry that the sea

isn’t turning its pages

quickly enough to compensate

for the turning of the earth.

Sometimes I worry that the hills

won’t erode enough to expose

the entire truth of bedrock.


You never fret about birdsong

dropping a sour note or two,

or about oaks losing count

of the acorns that fall every day.

No, you watch me watching the wind

comb the lawn by the Catholic church

and assume I’m insane because

I refuse to lock eyes with you

and allow our psyches to wrestle.


The screen door creaks on hinges

you neglected to oil. We share

a pot of herbal tea and discuss

the likelihood of a prophet

agile enough to found a cult

to replace the ones we suffer

in the service of the cosmos.


Too much cross-communication,

you argue. But, watching the surf

dredge the heaviest of seaweed

and noting how the most ancient

of metamorphic rock crumbles,

I’m inclined to believe a woman

as surefooted as you could argue

the universe onto its knees.


We drink our tea so daintily

a stranger might mistake us

for strangers, but the bottomless

afternoon light knows us well,

and the oblique parts of our gaze,

although they never quite focus,

return us to water and earth.