Grade A: we know her

Written in Albuquerque (406 Girard SE), May 1999.  My son Malcolm, living in Chicago, sent me a poem full of African imagery without knowing I’d recently fallen in love with an African woman.  It felt like we were mystically writing about the same person.  When I wrote this, she was camping in Utah … hence the “trail,” the “climb,” the “waterless reaches.”  Published in my books Too Little to Kill and Wings of the Gray Moon, and in the journal Hidden Oak.

we know her


link on link

wire on wire

she opens our raining skulls

we are quiet toward her

only a rush of fur

only a prickle of skin

announces us

she opens our clasping hands

with terror of freedom

terror of openings

trail to a treed ledge

to a look at waterless reaches

climb to a night of earth


we are quiet toward her

only the sugar of rain

only the snowbeat of death

announces us