Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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     i.m. J.B., M.D., J.C., M.R.

Say I was there. I was there.
Only, a little after. Only, near.

Say I saw it. I did see. But not then, now.
Say I couldn’t believe.

Say I couldn’t believe
my eyes—they were a little late, say.

What began with a rock
falling, a flutter of a fist-sized piece

striking through the higher air, parting infinity:
as big as a breadbox

or a bookshelf, about the size of this desk
and of equal velocity to a feather:

: a wave, a wall, water vapor :
the outside rolls in : blankets as they say
the scene or face : one coast slides under another

Somewhere the object continues
                     in spirit as they say
falling. Begin with this premise :

Ascending, and already that word seems
significant: pennies hammered edge-wise
in the grains of a downed fir
across the climbers trail—
what are they like, what do they stand for?
I do as I have done, always: touch them
for good luck, their shining edge.

Weekend chainsaws bray in the valley below
the white apron of stone called Suicide.

I climb into view of whatever Recorder
records these clear, conflicting desires:

Toby is climbing with a noose today
as a faith experiment. Legs elvising in fear,
inclined a degree beyond friction.

An Above exists, he tells me, moving up
unbreakable as an eggshell.

What is solo      a single stone, a sol
economy of self     a light life (as in lifting)

A lone, as in reason     I went to the woods
deliberately to live     or to not. Of fears

what need one   reason    not the need
subtract from oneself     one

He stood on the boulder rising from the sea
imagining the word whitecap as a mountain in spring.

Is man less capable than a forest of kelp?
If all elements conspire to our delight,
why should water drown its lord?

He stood in the mountain’s mouth, thinking
how alike an avalanche to thunder.

The route index attests to divinity: Middle Cathedral, Angel’s Wing.
The route index inclines toward evil: Devil’s Tower, Devil’s Thumb.
Our church is the church of the rock, he would say on Sundays.
It was true: a boulder had rolled through the apse, while the skyline
could be read diachronically as a hymn:
Awake, my soul and with the sun / my precious time misspent / redeem
The collective puzzle in parts, now joining (as in song)

It’s a bathtub   exclaimed the boy   made out of rock
at the grave of the child   emperor   you sit down
it fills up   they shut it     and you swim

The inscription reads   a bedtime story     here lies
what was believed   an incarnation     a son
two lives equally    mistaken   for a gulf

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