A sandbar runs
between the river
of words and other
pleasures undiluted
that once flowed sweet
and whole from you
to me, like kisses

divided left and right
I cannot hold your image
without closing one eye
or the other

I perceive the war
you said was coming
but it’s not my war

and the silt
you’ve piled like
a bridge, molecular
and crystalline, of disregarded
thought and possibility
you cannot see

for that, you need
some semblance of
new order that arouses
beyond Photoshop and frothy
naked babes on clouds.

Last night
I dined on caviar
and rye with someone
who grew infinitely wealthy
from the fear of self-authority

that plagues
what’s known—
at this he laughed—
as common man.

Close neither eye
for anyone, nor look
askance, unless to be
broadsided, knocked about,
is something you enjoy.

Instead, he said, look straight
upon the flows of contradiction
overlapping lazy, flapping
mouths and appetites

until the mountain range
between dissociated man
comes clear, then walk

across the peaks
and don’t look down
but let the rush
on either side
uphold you
till you reach
the source where
flow and you
and I live undivided.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Image: painting by Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)