Time Beyond the Fall Line
“I know it seems sudden but it’s not,”
her message loops and spools,
pauses only to loop again.
“I know it seems sudden but it’s not.”
How can she imagine he will feel her desire
For separation, to be gone, is sudden?
He’s known for days, or months, or
these minutes, time-trapped years.
His fingers grasp, clasp steam, a mug
holding warmth leaking through—.
emptiness an inch away—
Her warmth once electrified his hands
flooded through the whole of him
and her too – true, he knew.
He’d hold this surety,
the incontrovertible fact
of moment after moment
her presence the vibrant hum.
He knows that nothing about them
was ever sudden — each move
so slow, intentional, each word baked fresh,
morsel upon morsel of momentum, magnifying
fine, drawing two near, forever nearer.
Perhaps there had been one time –
a sudden flare in the dark,
that hillside in the silence of what was parked,
the streaming whistle pushing into night,
long shrill call lumbering across a trestle,
high above swift currents
spilling over granite
smoothing eons on the way
rolling past the fall-line of all
they left behind.
Still he hears that rumble,
engagement pulling low, the load
the groan of steel and wood above
the stone, water rushing on and on,
like her voice, repetitious tone,
now gone from those years,
that day as well and this.