Wednesday, August 06, 2008


To find this place,
we followed the road that hugs granite
and redwood, filled our arms
with provisions at a roadside market,
looked for a place to camp,
consulting maps
and our intuition.

At Kirk Creek we built a fire
using all the kindling,
kept our fingers crossed.
We stood close together,
recalling names of constellations.
Orion stepped over the mountains,
bow and arrow drawn.
We watched him stalk
across the sky.

We zipped together sleeping bags, amazed
that love was built into their design.
Our eager hands
caressed bellies and thighs
like ice water
on hot skillets
and when we rested
face up to the sky
the hunter looked down upon us.

In the morning, we saw elephant seals
sunning clumsily.
Mothers laid in the sand with new pups.
Monstrous bulls, braying and aloof.
No one saw the newborn
struggling in the surf
silenced by waves
pulling out to sea,
stones crackling underneath.

I needed to tell you something,
tried to speak
but words fell from my mouth
like pebbles,
and scattered in the sand.

Last week I ran into Dominic, a writing buddy I met at the Richard Hugo House a couple of years ago. He reminded me of this poem, which I was working on then, following a breakup. Now, after a fresh look and a few edits, I think it is finally done. Or very close.

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