After the Water,
the clouds seep in, red room a ruin and cinched. The clouds seep in, too small at first to be trusted, the way you’ve failed at last to trust what’s small inside you. Uplift, felicity. Open to room, open to sky, small or large. Can you say you will now? It’s all here to grow through pond, then water, then floor, agave spike, the one with her you’ve made to grow. Seeps between, small moves and lovely strange grows large. A mirror mirrored in a pond beneath the room of air and the air of else, which is four skies, which is rich, which is almost shamefully generous, indeed hospitable and very kind, four skies! As if the world had this house and, like an ancient, takes you unsuspicious to stay for need, to sup when hungry, to sleep when weary, to tell, only when you’re ready, such tales of the way that brought you and the way to take tomorrow. This evening, why not pluck the pond’s white wood and carve yourself a flute? Why not be an instrument for the house of the world? White flute, play a song you do not know but do, chords half-water, chords half-air, half-in, half-out, tones of cloud song, dear humongous and dear tee-tiny, a look-at-lovely-rain, strange-to-trust-it-falls song.
CHRISTOPHER COKINOS is the author of three books of nonfiction, including most recently Bodies, of the Holocene (Truman). He’s had work recently appear in Orion, High Country News, New Delta Review and Western Humanities Review. A nonfiction writer and poet, he’s from Indianapolis, earned an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and now directs the creative writing program at the University of Arizona. The winner of several writing awards, he’s long been a fan of Rene Magritte, whose painting of the same title inspired his poem.