Two Valleys


Beneath the callow bed of vines

the hour falls:


we wasted many despotic dusks

the summer after The Fall

looking out upon a cloud-shattered hollow

where feline mountains rub their

mossy backs against the lone palms

of the sky


and we could say nothing, as though

the furtive snipes muted the world

as though our voices dissolved into

the air like valium hosts

I saw beneath the haze

with drooping neck and gaze;

Hold up my chin, I sleep

but I have not slept

in such a pixelated world


In my shuffling trance,

of fierce pernicious fugue-like

Freudian facades, I saw, O dream

spectral plane and rainy day:

The valley titan in the house of the gadfly

Gaea, in heat, at once the sloping

shape of her shins, and rounded crests

of her knees lay shuddering against

the river’s bend


Days later, when again we walked

along the ridge, like birds in play

you asked about the great folly

long before the damage

At the time the mountains were born,

and fire sprayed and labor’s tears

like weakness fled in sating streams

before the hour of once unwitnessed

nativity, the mother carved its slaking

cradle from the clay





And you laughed at the very thought

of the atoms working such a miracle,

and that we were always of the absent

space between our thighs, knowing entirely

that we had no such taste


So as the night came kneeling

upon that bed there were only our thoughts

and distant unencumbered memories

of the Great Rift, where years ago

those old apes came down from the trees

and dipped their teeth in blood

for the first time