Max Patch Mountain, Hot Springs, NC


Let our love be this clutch

of dogs off-leash: the preen and posture, snort

and snuffle, of saying, I smell you

and, therefore, know you. The rolling

on the backs and baring of the bellies.

And the tails! An exaltation of metronomes,

keeping time for their joy.


If this summer is a body,
let me be its tongue.

Tasting the green tang of the spittlebug nests

foaming the oat grass, the iron of this

good dirt. A tongue to lick the salt

from your upper lip, the rosary of sweat

risen on your chest. A tongue to tap

the top teeth and suck back like a wave

whose tide rolls out through lips pursed

as though for a kiss.

again: Thank you.


As in, please,
let me be this kite

lifting from your hands—ruffled nylon paradise

bird, with its taut spine and cross spar, the pop

of its ripstop sails, snap of its translucent tails.


Give me

the grand view: mountain balds and white water; but mostly

of you—head thrown back, face to the sun, holding

my traceline: tethered to you,

always, responding to the slightest

tick of your fingertips. Let me be a kite that trusts itself

to the sky.

Yes, gravity is inevitable
as death. But why let that desecrate
even a moment of this flight?