They boom in this tall, indifferent place:
those moon-colored nights
like water in a long white ravel of river.
To see them you must pass the edge,
throbbing animals that run on curves of claw,
moaning, lifting their dark mouths skyward.
You must pass the human words,
the church of territory, with weights
and workers, a black house for kneeling.
Must disregard the theory and its preacher:
the gloved and inauthentic rumor,
acrobatic names for how you came to be here.
Hear the cold apartness growling, the ice,
the white pole keening indecipherable light,
the loud sky rolling out illegible stars.
The stars pour over the indifferent shapes
a water full of scars and red lights. Wear them
as if they were warm to you, and do not kneel there.
Patricia Nelson is a former attorney who has worked with the “Activist” group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area, a Neo-Modernist group. Nelson recently published a third volume of poetry, Out of the Underworld (Poetic Matrix Press).