The Latitude of a Mercy

For that time lived among strange flowers,
Baptized in warm, red water
Where no god would go,
Paid witness too soon;
I thought in grids and lines,
The coordinates of survival,
But saw in fractured light spirits
Gathered at points in the radiant green
That spoke to me,
Who held me
To the latitude of a mercy,
A way to get home.
To that summer when we kissed hard
Listening to Etta James and Marvin Gaye,
Bells and whistles from the Allegheny,
Telling me there would be other nights
Time would draw out forever.
Not this life dropped and broken
Beyond hope and those nights,
But a walk with the spirits
To now, along one
Impossible line.