Walking when

gently the naked hillside
begins to turn inside out
and fold into my body

the scoured slope above vineyards
raveling into the space under my right clavicle,
hewn of bone-dry dirt, tufted with vestiges
of summer grass, the gristle of a razed
and then untended ground

grizzled oaks gnarl toward my stomach,
blood vessels of gratitude ― but what humility
of packed ground they grow from, armor of earth
crusted hard over stone and bone and treasure

and from their feet a shallow ditch,
caked with roadside residue,
runnels down my torso
and subsides against my calf,
empty of all sympathies

somewhere a bird is calling, high and persistent,
against the dull stripe of an airplane’s engine
aloft in the space of my tibia, where the soul
has expanded against high cirrus clouds.

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