Ephemeral Stream

Elizabeth Willis

This is the way water 
thinks about the desert.
The way the thought of water 
gives you something 
to stumble on. A ghost river.
A sentence trailing off
toward lower ground.
A finger pointing
at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it. 
I wanted to write a poem 
and call it "Ephemeral Stream"
because you made of this 
imaginary creek
a hole so deep 
it looked like a green eye 
taking in the storm, 
a poem interrupted 
by forgiveness.

It's not over yet.
A dream can spend 
all night fighting off 
the morning. Let me
start again. A stream 
may be a branch or a beck, 
a crick or kill or lick,
a syke, a runnel. It pours 
through a corridor. The door 
is open. The keys
are on the dashboard. 

More by Elizabeth Willis

The Steam Engine

I came back to the meadow an unsuspecting hart, trying to wake up from a long night of walking. I was looking for a subtext, a heavy horsy bee doing battle with its inclination. What’s your angle? A little evanescent on the rim, it’s only a willow, beaked and shining, a toothy margin holding up banks. Have we overstayed our party in the heavenly city or are we spilling through its gates trying not to get trampled? On the berm I filled a basket with crashing birds. In the dream you pointed sideways with your thumb where the cars were flying.