The Blue Mountain Review Issue 17

Page 25

POETRY 37.7924° N, 122.4843° W

Calvin Olsen

A famous bridge hung in distance. Tide out—barnacles ignored waves capable of ripping fingers from a dock. A cargo ship, feigning transparency in the fog, followed a tug to open water, moaning both its notes. Even shrinking, it dominated the horizon. I’ve heard ships that size kill their motor miles from shore and coast to port with sheer immensity, trailing V-shaped wakes a minute of latitude long. A flock of albatross flew across the daytime moon, the surf filtered footprints and regurgitated jellyfish, the skin on our feet hardening up the beach.

Sinking Below my bedroom window, a tree. Below the tree, snow. Below the snow, leaves who imitated flame then fell then camouflaged themselves against the dirt, pushing out their wet the way an apple wilts when pressed, waiting to be fallen on and frozen, finally getting what they wished. Below the leaves, a crust of dirt—once whole, now punctured by the living things: some uprooting dinner, some there to bury things that overstretched their faces, some digging down to qualm the topple of their higher selves holding back the wind.