Let's say you are here,
and we take this early morning
in hand and walk the Tohoku trails.
We speak of crows flying overhead
against a front coming in from the sea of Japan.
The polished tips of our slender fingers trace
the Neanderthal forehead of the jungle crow
as we follow its flight.
Above the breathy rings of conversation,
the collective caw of carrions and ravens
echo off wires and tree limbs.
Because we have a common language,
we can speak of this,
and of the wind in from Siberia,
the scent of lilies in a glass jar,
trees laden with persimmons
and the sound of rattling panes
as dusk begins to fall by four.
Our voices cut the distance,
clear as prismed light.
The collective cry of crows
from far feeding grounds
summons a gathering to a common nest.
Let's say you are here
and we take this morning,
rely on a common language,
term all that is true—
Ripe persimmons and rattling panes,
ravens and carrion crows—
counting them as they secure
the patchwork sky,
design their way home
You can always pinpoint it
looking for the triangular shine,
I want to learn to find that light
on the nights I'll be alone.
For so much depends upon
what we leave each other.
Somewhere in the story
is our true north,
directions to travel alone,
to remember to lift our faces,
We need now to create
new ways to look at old stars,
even though I would rather dwell
in our past heavens when desire
was in a turn of phrase
and the indigo sky was clearly plentiful.
On those nights, you'd take my hand,
trace beginnings and endings
of constellations that lit our lives.
Laurie Kuntz has been nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net prize. Her book The Moon Over My Mother's House is published by Finishing Line Press. Her 5th poetry book Talking Me off the Roof is forthcoming from Kelsay Press in late 2022.