Then, later in the afternoon, after crossing the white fields,
we step together over a berm of snow beside the common road
where wind gleams in the sinuosities of tall winter grass.
Daylight clings close to the bone, here,
and sweetens the marrow of the lengthening afternoon
even as shadows bulk out from the boles of pines.
The tufts of sinewy, thin blades rub and delay the shine,
exactly as the fibrous sheaf of the body defers the spirit’s passage
back to the earth, exactly so, to slow its arrival --
or, if there is no spirit, to clutch fire in the tangled atoms
for a moment longer, before they slack apart and fall again
through the void. Already we lean toward evening.
We touch the rustling stems as roughly as the wind
and hurry home to uncover warm skin, to offer, here, always here --
here, where I kneel before the tender gate of my lover’s womb.