Taking a Walk With You

 

“Walk forwards and backwards with me.”
— Kenneth Koch

Gazing into Wet
Creek’s tapestry, through
the warp and weft of

minnows weaving
in shafts of sunlight, echoed
in the shadows of

the sawgrass swaying,
in the small stream’s undulance
toward the river

torquing to the Ohio
that somehow will spill
into the Atlantic,

all salt spray hissing
against rocks: the sound of
repeatable longing.

That’s there. And here a
cardinal calls Pretty
pretty pretty from

the pin oak, here a
woodpecker strikes its match-
head against old elm

bark, here the creek widens and
narrows. Dear, the stents in
your heart wend the same;

the plate and screws in my knees
tell me before the skies do
how there’ll be rain, drops

canting crazily,
pocking the creek. The bodies
we have are also bodies

of water, bodies of dust, bodies
that change like clouds, bodies
that will fill, and fail,

and fall. That’s later. Now as we thread
our way through cattails
in gauzy light, there’s this

pause, an inrush of breath, holding
it, holding your hand
watching the water, the way

it flows, feeling my body moving
toward yours, as the water reflects us
as we were then, in its

mottled plane, mirror,
mirror, our younger
faces gazing back

at us from their side
of this day, as we work our
way, through cattails, through

muscadine, weaving through scything
sawgrass, sumac, taking the path
of least resistance.