Memory: First House

By stealth we took from the wood
when the wood was asleep

the arms of pine, the rings
they made of the years—

We hid them on straw
in the bed of a truck,

under rocks that once
helped the river reflect

the moon’s shattered face.
This is not a dream

I’m telling you—
We threaded our way

through switchback trails
and lied to the border

police about what cargo
breathed in the resinous dark.

In a valley we let the blind
rocks go, then stripped

the honey from each plank
of pine. We made of them

an enclosure for air,
a lattice of space begat

from a chamber of green.
That house is no more—

One day the earth sent tremors
through rafters and walls;

the years withdrew
what we took without gift

of coin, without blood
struck from a copper gong.


In response to Via Negativa: Submariner.

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