I was going to write
How I walk across a cement bridge
Over lanes of northbound traffic in Seattle,
Eating cold spring rolls, headed for Elliot Bay Books
When I decided to shift focus, and drift instead
Over the icy rivers of Yukon territories.
Two summers ago
I untie laces and slip shoes onto the pebbly shore,
Draping socks spun from wool
Over the sun-bleached driftwood,
Toes disappearing through the watery lens.
It is here, in the north, where my soul warms like fire through snow,
Where I write best, and know
Love cannot be frozen or burned out of you, -
Even in cities, – where I no longer hear the heartbeat of mountains
Or bathe myself in the constant mouths of rivers.
I am not in Alaska long
When I flake halibut skin for smoking
With a knife in moonlight,
And split wood into strips
Laying the spruce tips flat
Against a black stove
But these days,
There exist no ordinary mornings.
I’ve met my wife, and our cabinets are full of blue pottery,
My heart no longer
Reaching across patterns of waves
Folding and unfolding like translucent flowers.
I used to hike mountains and press my ear against their chests
Listening to musical rhythms and eating over tin plates.
Now I disregard aloneness for the Beloved,
Married somewhere between earth and heaven.
Strange to think
How thirty-three years
I wander corridors and fields,
The same blue clay forming beneath our feet in fire.