Your Photograph of a Bottle in the Driveway
A thick crack reaches across flat, speckled dusk
into waves of light and becomes an equator,
a fissure on the empty moon. In this divided
landscape lies the bottle, alone, its top open,
as if about to release some ancient message.
Through a window, I watched you bend and rise
as you prepared to take this photograph.
Water sprayed from between your fingers
in measured rows, down to the shadowy pavement.
How evenly you turned, toward and away,
holding your camera at arm’s length,
as if space could sharpen its vision,
as if an empty bottle on wet, cracked cement
could become a vessel on its way to a distant coast.
Here where town
is as far away as star,
you can hear the wind begin
as a hiss from
of rock and thicket,
a push preparing to push
as you, in a tent
whose stakes are stuck
a thin distance in
try to sleep.
Think of it humming
its loudest soaring note
through a huddle
of Apache Plumes
that scratch symbols
on your tent,
it’s had a part
The wind says things
you’d like not to hear,
as somewhere now it speaks,
past a curve in a road
where a sign warns
Gusts may exist;
it’s the only language
left to write in.
Even the dog, this night,
gives up his barking
and, in a rattle
of sky and sunrise,
decides to be still.
—Christine Poreba, Tallahassee, FL