John Yohe

Individual coming together

The rain
the black oak tree, a rock
the open space in front of it, broken

stillwater, a mirror
whose face the wind destroys
the wind, with its desire to destroy
and on my wrists the long red scars
each erased of its many pictures.
I never believed a body’s mending held
the unknowns of its blindness:
weeds, mud tracks on the floor
a woman pulling away from her husband
across a dusty hotel bed, insulting him
as though his obedience caused it

I never saw them come together
the jagged wind that went out finally
I never dreamed of not watching that
the way we watched the sky on winter days
your foot on my back, the lipstick
the cold air

there is a darkness, and pleasure
the bound wrist changes everything
like wind feeds fire or carves rock
unseen, unidentifiable
except felt on the skin, exposed

my love for you this fire

my love for you this fire
burning in the desert
brighter than the lights of Phoenix
brighter than the moon & stars
in land too thick and steep to contain
I can only wait and try to sleep
while isolated pockets flare in the night —
orange light and crackling

my love for you this fire
these embers staring out of trees
these cat-faced snags
this smoke choking my lungs
blinding my eyes
and the ash covering my skin
the grit on my teeth
the heat on my face
stopping me from getting too close

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