Thursday, June 26, 2008

Running Sand

This is the running sand.

Fog walks deliberately over the
shift of surfaces,
knowing cold water flows beneath;
footprints tear the coping, leave bloodmarks,
wet stains. Pale wavelines doodle
away into the strangled mist.

This is one of the places of God,
but not one we look for.
This is the place where questions fall
to the ground under their own weight:
If you knew the answer you shouldn't have asked.

The vapor sinks into the sand,
pulling the light down with it.
The loom of the land behind us, where
the headlights of distant cars make
slow moving glows in the fog;
you can't imagine that any of them
is traveling toward hope.

Buried here, at uncertain depth,
are those who did their duty
to indifferent masters. Those who
duly worked genitals
in dull marriages. Here lie
those who put off opening their mail;
those who checked just one more thing
before making a phone call.

You may say it is unjust
the bones of so many good and almost honest
lie here. But this is not a place of judgment.
No law obtains here but gravity;
no pull here, but habit.
God may have strong arms, but
that does him no good if he can get no purchase.
We gave him no handhold. We slid away; cold,
unskinned, and slippery with untrimmed fat;
and here the sand received us.

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