When I wake up, heart up my throat, a fear taste— getting ready for the changing skin. Your hat on the knob of the banister, tilted. You ask, why are you holding up your head with your hand? I'm tired, stripped down, maybe I passed one of my deaths getting ready for the changing skin. Sometimes, love, I can be your sister, dead, come to you in her changing skin—tortoise shell eyes, through gravel and moss. And you can be my brother, dead, saying: I never meant to hurt anyone. We are looking across the table. It's a field, long, spread out, pale, the ground's icy. We're wearing our new coats and we've passed one or more of our deaths along the way. There's no afterlife, it's the same, the same life, and when we remember that we pull close our changing coats, we tilt toward each other, the ground is softer than I thought, our foreheads touch.
“river with a valley so shallow it is measured in inches” says McKibben and no longer Ever but shrinking, this marsh-wealth in a buzz of conversing, wing flaps and wind, ringed by housing, drained by canals, an expanse thick with mangroves, orchids, birds erupting out of grasses— “so flat that a broad sheet of water flows slowly across it on the way to the sea”— algae, floating lilies, water purified and sent into the dreamscape— Heaven’s beneath us, what I look down into, bubbling mud, permeable skin— Driving here, miles across paved-over space till what’s missing gathers— jaw open in the sun, wings explaining— What can’t be seen is more than all of this Strokes of green blades swells of nothing— we’re Ever latched to each other, burning