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it must be we belong in it -- at once remotely
and intimately; the way a sheepherder's fi re at night belongs
in the distance on a desert upland
the white dog truth
I make out the white bulk in the dark --
the dog approaches at a quick pace
and goes by showing no interest in me,
and such is the quiet of the street
I hear the clicking of his toenails
on the blacktop, quick, business-like,
even half a block away, the sound
growing fainter very gradually
and already, while I keep an eye
on the wire-thin half rim of light
the moon shows in a sky jagged
with trees along the bottom --
already this encounter, the white bulk passing
in the dark, the diminishing click
of the toenails along the stretch
of silence back there, cannot be forced
not to have been, the lords of creation
themselves will have to submit to
its having been, if they should fi nd it
some day blocking the way of a desire.
the three sisters
River, dangerous -- green water
going over a ledge, it smashes
into a mixture with the air
a fl ashing white, the lava