Watching the wind unwind off the river’s face
Creates in him a feeling he can’t quite name.
Intently he stared into a corrugated
Pool of jade, hearing (but not) its musical
Slop and heave, the sousing waves. On either side
Of him, a corridor of cottonwoods flank the river
Into its bight: like lime-green giants gnashing
In slo-mo. Stripped to the waist, sun-burnished,
Levis slack about the rear, a face
So serious, so sad … There comes a frozen
Moment when time hangs motionless on this
Particular shore. The reeds go slack. Then
Silver clouds scud in like a fleet of blimps. Colossal
Shadows invade. He sees the trees invert on the
Swollen depths that mirror his face against the knife-
White heavens. He remembers that this is his life.
Far off, the fat sun drips, like a bloody egg yolk
Above the sea. Southward, huge thunderheads
Hang their indigo slants of rain.
The west wind quivers. From the bridge
He’d stared for hours, watching below him
The sunset’s raspberry leak, the gray water swirl.
Behind, the asphalt stunk and gleamed.
Foreign insects teemed. Long he stared, as one transfixed,
By light or shadow or the silent depths below
That inexorably flowed from his vision’s range,
Carrying as they went the heavy half-green leaves
Which fell dying but, he saw, made occasional
Ripples on this old wrinkled surface
Before see-sawing into the cold.
Then darkness came. Still he stood. He stood scowling
Into the churning depths, yearning, alone.