Another Crossing
Christopher Howell

It was the river of death
and we crossed it
or the river of forgetting
which is why I don’t remember
crossing it,
holding your hand as we were reborn
strangers to every river
and ourselves, fly away spirits
whose bodies were dreaming.
Love was not our number
and the days, if they were days,
were like any dark limb or whistle,
any momentary singing
from the back room of an old hotel
where no one sat at the bar
with no one else
carving in dust the signals
of our disappearance.
What is a wound if not this
crossing under the moon-like eyes
of the boatman who has waited
among the willows
all these years, sad king of patience,
old blue fire of human things,
last things, beauty itself
bent to its oars inside us.

Originally appeared in Field

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