Lanthanum 9.9


It was the faintest whisper of the lightest breeze
you felt not heard, the most ineffable lightness
breathing across the river’s curve, at night;
near St. Louis, under the wing├Ęd shroud of trees.

Stillness; quiet; only a creak of cottonwoods
as the bow slips downstream. & you lie back
along ribs & spine... & trace another track
remote, milky (buffalo, or thunderbirds).

A pair of spare steel calipers lean into sky.
A lightweight tripod, anchored from above,
almost; made of open air, its alcove
seems to shepherd weightlessness (a mile-

high smile). You lean against the gunwale,
press your ear into Karelian birch; the veins
thread tiny rivers, seamless as woven spans
of Inca stone; you enter the black-hole tunnel.

& it is so arranged, we never leave
the tender circle of those tight-swathed hills

A light wind-vortex lifts her glittering vessel
(diamond now) on a sigh of joy (heave-

ho!) – a choir of humming fingertips
in unison (their pregnant sails seamless as
woven Incan shroud). Hiawatha-longhouse
of loving fellowship – red-willow slips

of smoke & singing ghosts... the pure air
of diamond-heart, at center of the six
directions. All bound in Magdalen’s hex-
agon : reunion or reconnaissance (ours

be her beatific ninefold choir).


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