Steve Williams


Late day updrafts thrust, thrust off
crags, billow through sawtooth peaks.
Transparent in balmy bowels, Earth's breath

condenses in altitude chill, churns like wet concrete.
A milieu of whorls and whirlpools shakes, shakes
like seltzer in blue-granite bottles -- each capped

in ice sponges that wipe clean the purple stratosphere.
I stand in Kansas wheat, climb into the blossom
of neon springs, swim up my own spine,

feel fracture, fracture of lighting:

is a river -- ions the shade of steel form trickles
and streams, cascade into the confluence
of solar flares;

is a glacier -- thick flood of millennia poised
to crash, explode, explode the blue-black bay;

is pitch -- sear of sap aching to throb, throb
from root in forest loam fog to divaricate twigs
brushing the face of amethyst Earth.

I float in the current, drink the surface tension,
add my fears to the rain, my voice to the thunder,
never reach the charcoal sea.

Steve Williams lives in Portland, Oregon.

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