blue hour tin-scraped with cicadas        my hand lifts the curtain cloth 
and light spills its ghosts inside wooden bodies         
             a hovering of marionettes       white rain       dogwood blossoms  

between cheat river and witcher creek, fields of abandoned furniture,
wood glazed with beeswax            ruin written       

we follow deactivated logging routes
to the gorge bridge         sleep on confederate gravestones, bins of dead sunflowers 

the old ones come to us, dragged forward by their shadows,
their voices left to creak in the kitchen pipework                      
they come through the ruined apple orchards, they sink, 
swaying in the orchards, feet heavier,           feet, bruised into rootsong    

they know these are the last of days          and so I take their hands, kiss them
and my hands hold dead leaves 


moths constellate the charred roof with silences          dusty stars 
you adrift here, this between-ness of things            and I could not reach to you. 
your shadow left in the coal heap         like the other gandy dancers 

hills unfold to hills          grey on grey 
in the cotton fields, an accumulation 
of absences. in the woodcutter’s forest, the rose-smoke of burning ghosts        

everything dreams dissolution            and there is no knowing of place 

to endure there     between voice and landscape        is to walk your desire          
is where the garden of the real might blossom        whole moons, remedies, knowing. 

you say: we will drown of false translations. water   
is its own heavy meaning. tracelessness. and river-systems die out 

though you walk the maple ridges for centuries
you come no closer to what is here               will have no articulate word left to hold    

when the first names disappeared, sight followed       then the landscape 
the light falling, becoming language            language without tense 
the coarsened linens of our bodies left        soaking the aftersilence