Letter Sent in a Fish
by Andrew Grace
How sweet it will be to hand this all back: bent axe,
cinnabarine fire, these hands. Soot fallen by the east gate,
brief path for pheasant & rat: let me become this chopped
and burning pine, to ascend leadless orchards, each wracked singularity
its own sign of failure if we come back to life, which I believe in.
Do you imagine such things? Our prelude over? Hand it back.
And where does it go then? Some uncarved life, a jade badge-
to have it swell in front of me before I must remember this morning,
lice ecstatic in winter sun, far from now, hair dragged through bloodgrass....
The rest is east as a blind slide and a once round the column:
slipstream, aphid, tiara of moss, buck, mountain that has yet to find the fault
to starts its journey; we could come back as any of these. Forget the pine,
let me become a traveler of the river's nadir, bottom-feeder, fugitive,
to know only scum yet be unable not to take it in like sky takes prayer.