Above Bear Valley
I feel I don’t inhabit the world, my body separate,
unreal. I drive toward the canyon. Rags of coyote body
drape fence post above the flowering fields,
above the orange poppy cups, and the cows stare
with sweet indifference to the arcs of the kingbird’s belly.
Farther on, the trees are drowned by reservoir.
Bodies submerged. Top branches, stripped like the dead,
float above the water line. Farther still, toward ruins
of Bartlett Springs, charred sticks scatter across
burned hills, legs and arms without flesh.
Clouds, gray as ash, press down, their damp breath
hovering over holocaust. I reclaim tears.
The silence of cell and bone. My skin becomes grass,
sweeping like wildfire over scars.
I reclaim my blood in the flush of redbud,
my bones in the spines of yellow lupine. The road
climbs again, then drops toward the belly of the lake.
Spirit, supple as willow, as present as the buckeye
along the creek, tethers my flesh to earth.