They are useless, there is nothing
to be done with them, no reason, only
the finding: letting myself down holding
to ironwood and the dry bristle of roots
into the creek bed, into clear water shelved
below the outcroppings, where crawdads spurt
through silt; clawing them out of clay, scrubbing
away the sand, setting them in a shaft of light
to dry. Sweat clings in the cliff's downdraft.
I take each one up like a safecracker listening
for the lapse within, the moment crystal turns
on crystal. It is all waiting there in darkness.
I want to know only that things gather themselves
with great patience, that they do this forever.
From Work, for the Night Is Coming by Jared Carter. Copyright © 1981, 2020 by Jared Carter and used by permission.