Across the Bridge
by Jordan Jace
Between us there is a ladder,
A small stone, a force immovable.
The absence of your hands
Is as small as the brown bird untying
A name from around my neck.
I want a barrel full of apples
To give to you, a crate of wind,
To be the water that mouths the wave
And tames it like a horse, to trail
Salt. There is something wonderful
About standing on a bridge of shadow,
I watch your voice float across the chasm
Trailed by a cloud. I let it shroud me.
I'm preparing to ride away,
galloping so carelessly
I lose both my sandals and my shadow,
My feet prepare to go on without me.
I keep falling from the branch
and never returning.
Perhaps I am in your mind's eye—
Let it bury me. To leave behind is still
to leave. Empty space can do nothing
but split the hymn into pieces until
it is just the sound of wood and rope,
I remember when I dreamed of a lover
housed in brick, of straddling the call
of the far shore. Don't whisper, I need you
to be still. The bird that might guide me
Is as thin as the sail unfolding
from my mouth.