You have said your good-byes like prayers,
used to the words on your lips;
your child has the shape of your eyes,
but the shade of resemblance dances away.
Remember the river at dawn,
flowing between the canyon walls
as the mallards flew swiftly before you
scouting the unseen curves in the channel,
their wing-beats counting down the miles?
The cliffs above you climb beyond seeing,
the water fast past the boulders,
the rapids seize you, twist you,
pin you against the rocks then let you free.
In the pressure of the current,
there is no turning back.
The ravens struggle across the river against the wind,
the cliffs the color of the bead
of blood that glitters from a wound.
You feel the shape of the canyon in your body,
the ocean abandoning the inland, again and again,
the continents shifting on their hidden tracks,
as you dream of separation.
Gather up what you know,
as the weather turns to rain,
the mallards have disappeared into the light
you emerge from the canyon alone.