— for Becky M.
What is it like when the earth gives way?
To be pressed onto a hunk of it — body,
lump and fall — all in: sole to grass,
grass to root, root to dirt, dirt to creek.
It is brief, so brief: to be made wind
on a wedge of it. Then to be rolled
like a wad of dungarees, rolled —
rolled and further down in the wash.
It’s like birdsong through a gap of rain.
It’s like loose tire and giddy surrender.
It’s like looking into the dripping eyes
of the little girl that dragged you out,
Panting and wet above you there,
on the bank and breathing again.