ARTHRITIS OF THE HANDS IN WINTER

Joints-Thumb-Inter

“By the waters of Babylon we lay down and wept as we remembered Zion”

Down the little White Salmon, a body of fog exactly wide

as the river is floating.

Crows on both sides cawing to each other

choking and gargling the language of crows.

In my right hand a little wind circumambulates five swollen hillocks of knuckle bone

where fires have been built.

That’s how I feel it.

That’s how I know the sky has come down to the riverbed

where white egrets are murmuring,

and their murmuring is a twin to the sound of currents.

I am only a white man walking by a green river in a modest fog.

If there is meaning here, I leave it to debating crows

but my left hand, the color of wonder bread, is open

offering a flow of air across the palm and back to sky.

The One without a name who takes the shape of water and of air

is also present in fire.

……………………………….

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