That It Cleave the Sky

Visible but hard to pinpoint, the aspen
we thought was enough to bind us

through snows that half-buried
our car and we waited for the thaw.

Days of powdered cake mix and canned peaches.
Few becoming fewer words. Everything falling

short of itself. I am not so well
read on Persephone or Zeus’ birth,

but I have a hunch there is something ancient
in the gulf of the unsaid. I once thought my words

could serve as arcs, could span any abyss.
You told me that beneath every bridge lie the seeds of rot.

Which is why I stayed silent that Sunday, when the phone
carried your sister’s laments from the foothills to our coast.

I could not and still can’t understand the use of the horizon—
at every turn it seems less a point where sky meets earth

and more a wound to the west of every western town.