We make mountains in the rubble

having cleared those we were given

cut the sky from our feet.


We knew how to swim once.


Must every daily siting become ordinary?

the deer, the elk, the canary, the fox—


these days I am only stopped by predators

along the highway, on power lines and in fields

for selling.


Maybe there were three of us. Maybe

there were three hundred. They told us

we needed seeding.


I have a slip of sand from a

home I don’t carry when I travel:

this too will be taken. this too buried. Take

instead the smooth white stone that could be axe

or back scavenged from the guarded


maybe a tooth—always a tooth


(I am writing them into the surface

like a skin, because)


the truth is the stone I carry

is too soft and shiftless. There were more

in the water there were others but

I shied from the weight—enough

to bring small wings down

the body a risk soft

under pressure.


I’m trying to tell you

a red sky is a sign

you know instinctively.


Still we believe in mountains

insist on their promise


(in every falling story we survive

the higher ground).


Still we dig up teeth.


Still we plant the seed

insist we will grow.