||The Road That Runs Beside The River
follows the river as it bends
along the valley floor,
going the way it must go.
Where water goes, goes the road,
if there's room (not in a ravine,
gorge) the river
on your right, or left. Left is better,
it's over your elbow across
the road, when you're driving.
You see the current which is
what the river is : the river
in the river, a thing sliding faster foward
inside a thing sliding not so fast forward.
Driving with, beside, the river's flow is good;
another pleasure driving against it: it's the same river
someone else will see
somewhere downstream: same play,
new theater, different set.
Wide, shallow, fairly fast,
roundy stone streamed; stony-land river,
it turns there or here the ground
telling it so draining dull
mountains to the north,
migrating, feeding a few hard-fleshed fish
who live in it. One small sandbar splits
the river, then it loops left,
the road right, and the silver of it
slips under the trees,
into the forest
and over the sharp perpendicular
edge of the earth.
One wave falling forward meets another wave falling
hand-hauled, mineral, cool, could be
a kiss, or pastures
fiery green after rain, before
the grazers. The kiss like a shoal of fish whipped
one way, another way, like the fever dreams
of a million monkeys the kiss
carry me closer than your carotid artery to