This patchwork poem could never be the whole
for which it was the hoped-for, hopeless emblem
‒ yet the Gateway Arch, that lofty steel amalgam
planted one night in my sleep, is just a symbol
too. For something greater, yet less visible;
more actual & omnipresent; ungraspable
except by some unmerited mercy, unpredictable.
Your own lambent grail ‒ a beehive vestibule
(mindful, heartfelt). The proud, the cold
cannot approach that fiery source (so near,
so quiet, listening) ‒ their hearts not here,
not there. Close by... shading a foretold
epitaph ‒ tattooed onto that breathing cenotaph
(carved across th’embarkèd lid of an amber
mandorla-circumference). Melek or Malakh or
Molokha-Regent, Prince du Mille Lacs or Laughing-
Water-Duchess ‒ borne away (bear with me) on
a barge (near White Bear Lake, upper Mississippi).
Toward your own delta of displaced memory,
the ripple-texture of the stream (up, down)
& the ragged willow branch that plows, unfazed,
against the current (knots of driftwood, flotsam,
slipping past)... its creaky-curving arm
in a gentle bend over the riverbend. Dazed
by its flickering implications, the summer sunlight
in a radiant matrix, moving with the water...
Love’s little ensign-sepulchre or Frisbee-spider
scoots for shore. Ridgeline. Cahokia sunset.