The mountain remembers the sea's stroke and weight;
the rub of continents; intimate settlings of sand.
Even now she is just rising,
slow as I rise from a love-warm bed.
The mountain saves the scribble of the living:
claw-scuttle, flick of newt, snail-slick;
pollen's angled grain, spore-smoke,
the lichen's struggle and stain.
She is tucking them in, as in a linen press I weight
poem and flame azalea, tangling sheets with dreams.
The mountain keeps all castings:
arrowhead, axe, and cairn; shovel and hubcap.
All tunnelings: roads closed, adits collapsed,
small graves wearing her one stone. She carries them
as every inroad on my heart remains, vein of lost silver,
in the squeeze and jumble of the stiffening years.
Nothing is lost upon her.
Nothing is ever lost; only it draws deeper,
gathers density, grounding the future.
And yet already faint, the print of us:
a kinglet's glittering, too high to hear.
Unaka, press us close.
In the blueberry thicket. On the raven's stoop.
In the sky forest hung with a hush of cloud.