The winds are blowing over the hills, starting avalanches of air.
They bury the shaken trees in dislodged gusts
so they seem to be wading ankle-deep in heavy atoms.
With slanting light on their snow, the hills glower like the golden,
dusty hills of Utah.
There are spaces opening where the winds blow
in this valley, among the large, close houses.
When I was in the west last summer, I missed you.
Driving with my sister, a tent, canned soup
that we could not heat for fear of forest fires,
I learned why you dislike telephones.
She was asleep when I called you, from the hotel in Colorado,
and we spoke in the dark from separate mountain ranges
stirring the slightest current of air. I learned you were grieving,
and the comfort I had made you lonelier.
When I finally reached you, a day early,
you held me as you have never done before or since.
There are spaces opening I cannot trace. Cold clear air seeps through
chinks around the window glass.
I have not been able to end this for some months.
The mystery is not that I am here at all
on a joy ride in a grieving summer
returning from sea to mountains
and discussing stories with a friend
I have kept since childhood.
Nor is it that I should feel in absentia
the hands you no longer want to press against me.
I bathe, islanded in the passenger seat,
in the old buzz, and feel the nerves flare,
though the pulse is no longer directed
at you, and the red glint of your hair in the morning,
no longer braced with the backbone
of your particular honest desire.
It is not that even when you withhold it,
your touch brings strength.
The mystery is that ever the first
angiosperm opened a pale, green-tinged bud,
clothed its sepals and ovaries in damask
and left behind these rough conifers I'm traveling in.
These green prototype buds were mine also
from the beginning, and will not fall.
Grasses took over these forests of Savoy.
They spread their lavish seeds in air.
........................................... Katherine Abbott
Kate Abbott will finish her MFA in fiction at UNH in May 2007. She is revising her first novel. She has published fiction and poetry in Berkshire journals, a poem in the Fall '06 Comstock Review, and creative nonfiction in qarrtsiluni. A poem and an essay will also appear in an upcoming anthology, The Farmer's Daughter. Before she came to New Hampshire, she spent four years as a reporter and then Associate Editor of the Berkshire Advocate, an independent weekly paper. Away from her desk, she plays recorder with a contradance fiddle jam, weeds tomatoes, and watches her cat climb trees.
Copyright © 2006 Entelechy: Mind & Culture. New Paltz, NY. All rights reserved.