To the Legal Limits May 2008

Part One -- A Matter of Public Record

I first saw you
Out there
I couldn’t meetyour eyes
Lookingat me in light years
Not sure when to sing
Waiting for me to speak
I watched your hands
Trapped by  your fingers
We walked the creek bed
And missed our exit
You drank my beer
Because it was colder

I don’t remember signing
Above the state seal
You made a promise out loud
A pact with history
I carried in my pocket
After the public sacrifice
Our private consummation
Your leg crossing
In the darkness
Now the day becomes
A hut of drybones
Without you

Did Ithank you
For cleaning up the cat pee
Did I thank you
last night
We woke together
An hour ago
Our breath
Hanging in the half light

I forgot the milk
Again
Your patience broke
Sharp places on the floor
It drives me crazy
when you do that
Again and again

Does it matter
Those button holes
Left or right
If I love youlike thunder
If I wait for hours
On the porch
Not believing fireflies
While you are at class
If I promise
To stop at the store
To be kind to your mother
And pick up my towel
If holding you
I become human

You’ll be asleep
When I gethome
I want to come home now
Let me call you
home

Part Two -- A Fell Following

Humans are always human
Our bones call out
To the Other
Fastened sinew by sinew
To the notched haft
A fell following, a trail half seen
In the dusk, the snow
Catching on our boots,
The grasses discuss our passing
Whispering vespers

There are two pledges
Even inthe old huts,
caves, basket houses,
walled cities or blinking towers

one to love
madewhen the sheetis damp
and theradio weeps
too early formorning
(the stars were shut and the breeze stopped on our hair)
Another pledge
Comes with a dowry of goats
Horse blankets or joint checking
Made with ribbons and ink
For the long haul

For      the sighing ofoxygen tanks
For      brothers and sisters
For      those who come after
For      a place on the ramparts
For      dinner in the kitchen

We are all
In a cold and dangerous place
Climbing
Hand to handin the dusk
The sleetrunningdown our necks
To the soft places hot
Beneath the cloak
One of us stumbles, kicking rocks out
To tumble over
We hear them falling
Blue into tomorrow
The white space caught
Between our fingers
Is the last tether
Hand to hand
Leaning outover the chasm
We choose then
Hand to hand
Or going on alone

A trail half seen
A fell following
The grasses discuss
Our passing
Whisper vespers
Who can deny another
The least comfort

Milky Way

Roman Glass