It wasn’t like a moonbeam, or a scythe cutting
through leathery stalks—the process is silent.
Car in cruise-control northward on US-31
into flatscapes and bleached cornfields, still crave
cool ghosts of the mountains, striped limestone
and calcium from ground antlers (and Cherokees).
His teeth are like stars, they only come out at night…
There is no proper way to ask you if you’ll forget
the loneliness of sitting on blue sand as delicate shell
crabs skitter by under white moon, open to all
the tender pain one can tolerate, or not. Who’s leaving
while there’s still time? Hexed skulls of cardinals,
wide paint lines across crevices, hands loose on each
other: to our bodies, everything is salient. I just pray
you remember all the chain-smoking that night, fingertips
shaking like graves, the way nicotine wanders endlessly,
manic ghost along hazy shore, it’s intricacy you need…
Give your fear to the trees, give your danger to the ocean.