Comfort in a Falling Age

No help to patch the cracked lip of that smile.

You see only the edges of things caught sideways

in your jelling brainstorm.  Even the cracked smile

could not stop the momentum of your wandering.

And if it's not a movement through space,

across silences and around brittle cities,

then it's a journey inside, between and among

words and patterns you know so well.

Upriver, you swing into your own jungle,

thriving on paranoid connections, vines arching tree to tree,

among smells you remember but cannot identify.

Clutch at the jungle; you're the uncommon flower

that bursts open to find truth woven

in fronds to block the tepid rain.

Reach for it, unperplexed, till sun in the steaming ferns

signals a new relief, unquestioning warmth.

Outside your head and the room, trace dust waves

shot from passing wheels across red and gold desert.

Shafts of sun between fall's darkening clouds

heave against shadows: hands of dead tribes

still sifting through dry weeds with hoarse voices

for the oldest bones.