South Rim

1 November 2012

Conversation, Where’s the river?
overheard

Beyond, wedging itself
further into red rock

Skimming the crust
or surfing the horizon

Soaking the silt-gifting walls

Ducking from gulches, from
washes, from side canyons

Oh—there’s the river

A mirage of silver light,
parachuting down the waterway

A spate of life, a pocket deluge
snaking along the desert floor

No—where’s the river?

Perhaps she’s gone under,
subterranean

Perhaps she recreates the sipapu
foam flocking to surface

What river?

What river?

What mere lazy stream?
What choppy gush?

What surge?
What rush?
What soused gutter?

The Colorado River

Now clay-colored,
now brilliant jade

Now glassy, now dirty milk

Feeder of saltbush and pinyon
Slaker of yucca and juniper

Exotic water of the west

Oh—there’s the river

Turbulent dream
Misfit stream

Fissure aqua,
Rapture

No, you can’t see the river

Imagined sliver of raw silk
along rock

Ghostwritten braid

from here—the sign says so

Your watchtower fails,
water prevails

Speaker Where’s the river?
Oh—there’s the river

Speaker —No, wait, where’s the river?

What river?

Speaker The Colorado River—
Oh—there’s the river—

Speaker No, you can’t see the river
from here—the sign says so

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