Slot Canyon Elegy

Kelly Nelson

When did I stop seeing rivers, trees.
When did life shut me from the sky.

In the thin trickle of rain, the sound
of thunder walking, the thunder walking
pregnant, the sound of vows colliding.

Like a worn through blanket, I blend
into these white apartment walls.

Yet my fingers, my skin remember that boulder,
that raven flying over us, lying shoulder to shoulder.

Hartley painted his sky crowded.
The tops of beige hills left no room
for a flower, there, in the blue.

When did I stop seeing rivers, trees.
When did life shut me from the sky.

If you find a skull, stripped to an unkind
beauty, bring it to me. It will live here
with these other bones of mine.

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