Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sand Dunes
--from “The Snow Man," Wallace Stevens

by Emily Strauss

One should have the mind of water
to understand the Bitter River (Amargosa)
as it sinks into the wash and reappears
eleven miles downstream under willows

half hidden from the sun, avoiding sand dunes
and tracks of vehicles that climb like lizards.
The mind of water feels the heat of evaporating
pools, a constriction of mud, a thickening

into dirt as the river digs through hidden
channels underground, seeping, dripping
in cracks, lightless cavities it has forged
where we see only dry beds carved against

sandstone during rare summer floods. Then it
tires of hiding and pours for ten minutes, the mind
of water a living memory of rushing angst
in its haste to prove that bitter was only a lack

of momentum and rain is the shimmering soul
of water revealed once a year under black clouds.

1 comment: