He wanted a job as a clown. He walked
miles remembering the music. Even
in sleep, he dreamed about her
greeting him. They might join the circus
and learn how to fly the trapeze.
She was sleeping when it killed her;
she, the child, were still, asleep.
He expected to return to furrows
but not to their radiating graves.
No one loved him. He looked
to the moon. He traced her shape
around his breast. Soft and friendly,
his heart rose to her in the sky.
But the wolf smelled him.
He fell into the trench,
glad it was empty. Do not
dare look out of the trench.
Occasionally wolves eat humans.
In the trench one is safe. Even though
they smell you, the curling nuclear
meltdown keeps them at bay. Get too close,
the inside of the nose burns, then bleeds,
then scabs to lose its use.
Wolves, intelligent animals, do not
kill themselves. Cover your eyes.
Don't look at the light.
You are safe in a grave.
But the radiation was invisible.
Searing his arms and legs, it passed
through his eyes. He had been walking
a long time through the reflecting land.
His thumbs were digging small holes
in the ground. "Think of something happy."
I will be able to climb out in the morning.
A dead person cannot do that. All night the moon
will hold me. The dead cannot watch the moon.
Many times he rolled and woke, his face
in the dirt. The wolf howl echoed off
infected cooling light, strange enough
to make its own echo. His bones ticked.
The wolf glided toward him. He could not sleep
until he reached the sea. By the sea,
fresh breezes would save him. He could not stop.
He had been walking a long time.
But first he had to come back home.
Trusting bones formed piles of snow.
A layer of white covered Sasha. He was here.
If only he could blend in and surface
on the other side. He could see his wife's
violin lying in the snow waiting for
someone to play scales. When he touched it,
the wood was still hot, so he
couldn't pick it up. He left them
and continued on. The air smelled like salt.
An icicle was growing on his teeth.
The sun was a stove. He raised his paws.
The hunters were coming. They had guns
and no food. He had been walking a long time.
Because I am close to ground, I smell everything.
I smell the dirt: the scent of what has come
and gone, of time. I smell the burned roots
and the bones that are vaguely.
I am afraid of light.
The sun is a stove. I raise my paws.
I call on the wind to speed my cause,
and the wind answers, lifting me;
the wind is my friend.
I have been walking a long time.
The hunters are coming.
My death is their sport. They believe
if they ingest me, they will be like me.
In my dreams I have seen my blood
on their faces. I have been walking
a long time. If I cross my fingers,
so much that has been buried will
come alive again. I want to be a tree,
break my way to breathe. The ground
says no. There will be no more.
I didn't come to be a tree, but now that
I know I want to be one, I spread
my limbs and say there will be music.
So much will come alive again.
We will join a traveling circus
and become the most famous trapeze artists
in the world. You have a slender
gorgeous body. You are patient
and strong, your timing this time,
perfect. Every single time
I will catch your hands,
and I will never let them go.