The Second Fall

This is the desert of patience and perspective.
It shimmers with misdirection.
Stars burn in waves of loss,
imply to silver skin that they are cool.

Colors move in their different speeds,
some beating and sweating, some not.
Colors of mule and rock and scorpion.

In such a place the souls might gather
after death or after a fall.
A fall that holds a piece of flying.

Far away is the wet beginning:
the coming together, the curving
murmuring its creatures small and tidal.

The gray fish like a second chance
bending the rains and salts and grasses.
The pale-eyed birds.

They came without thought or prompting,
animals as repetition and revision
and the resounding of voices.

Every animal you named is gone.
Their echo is—and is gone.

Patricia Nelson is a former attorney who works with the “Activist” group of poets. Her new book In the Language of Lost Light will be out from Poetic Matrix Press later this year.

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