I’m ordered out to a pile of rocks
like a distinguished corpse from the Iron Age.
The others are still asleep in the tent
stretched out like spokes in a wheel.
In the tent, the stove is in charge: a large snake
that swallows a ball of fire and hisses.
But it’s quiet out here in the spring night
among cold rocks waiting for daylight.
Out here in the frigid air, I begin to fly
like a shaman, and I soar straight to her body
with its pale places from her bathing suit—
we were out in the sun. The moss was warm.
I snuggle up to such tender moments
but can’t linger there for long.
I’m whistled back through space—
I crawl out from the rocks. Here and now.
Mission: to be where you are.
Even in this absurdly serious
role—I am the very place
where creation works on itself.
Dawn arrives, the sparse tree trunks
show their colors now, the frost-nipped
spring flowers form a silent search party
for someone who’s disappeared in the dark.
But to be where you are. And to wait.
I’m anxious, obstinate, confused.
Future events, they’re already here! I
can sense it. They’re right outside:
a murmuring crowd behind the barricade.
They can only pass one by one.
They want in. Why? They’re coming
one by one. I am the turnstile.