Caleb Curtiss


Here a tree line, just visible, rising above a wall of brush  
    and of bramble full with the small things of brush: miniscule limbs,  
heads and wings and eyes like strange, smooth oaths; some wings  

are wings of feather and slight bone while others are slight, 
    paper-like like the wares of a gift shop set up for the curious 
passerby. Here a clearing  

full too, in its way, with the more mundane, the less obscure: 
    holder of the body, holder of the expanse that is gradually  
not the body. And here 

the body: eyes blinking and wet, hair a thrum of grass insects 
    and grass and ground, feet a curl of toes, knees folded  
apart, torso just now starting to dry: brackish as shore 

will stay brackish after the tide has retreated even hours earlier 
    and lips, yes, lips imparting what they impart: here a toothy silence, 
a stillness that holds the breeze that blows the tall grass that grows 

where field becomes brush, exhaling an abrupt departure  
     and holding it there: a clench, a release, but still  
holding it there: still tight and not  

    letting go.