by Rachel Moritz



As usual, the river ice is partially frozen, one feeling of stillness
disrupted by movement. A colony of crows dart between the trees
on either bank.

When you walk across a bridge in winter, the shape of your thought
curves, a gathering net. Structure is perhaps what the feeling sings
so it can ride along and up and out.




Buildings in the distance rise like graphing columns on implacable sky,
disappear behind you in gray puffs of wind and in front remain
hatched as their dark brick and tree’s weave.

The arrow of thought finds your heart: it is simple:
you make a straight line from what is to what suggests.

But an arrow is deceptive; in fact, the wooden shaft
arcs when moving through air, much like the wings of a bird.

And sometimes when structure emerges, another entity stops.
At the threshold. Words dive its underneath where feelings delay,
then surface wearing cloaks, puppets carving the winter stage.

Clothed, make comparisons like grief as quiet as river ice
or bare trees interwoven on a screen.

Each figure walks a vertical prow. Grief surrounds their now.

Or perhaps makes tracks in a parallel dream where canyon dust
has covered the earlier river. There you are watching dust saturate
your shoe tips and fingers and even the sun.

Perhaps there is less a feeling of being on land:
there is a feeling of being inside it.




Rachel Moritz lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She co-edits (with poet Sun Yung Shin) WinteRed Press, a chaplet publisher of innovative poetry. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Bombay Gin, Court Green, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Diagram. She is the recipient of a 2004 Minnesota State Arts Board Poetry Fellowship.

New Writing Index

Table of contents