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.