old snow

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old snow

 

 

I’m old enough now

to feel the arc of my life rising

over the years, the shape of it

and the erosion of old certainties

beneath. when we’re young

we experience ourselves as a point

as beings out of time. but I’ve knelt

in this cathedral long enough now

to be conscious of the beads of sequential

experience clicking softly through

my fingers, this error in perception

I refer to as me. the gap

between the man in the mirror

and the man in my mind grows larger

by the day, as if some piece of me

is trying to circle back to the origin

even as the physical me noses over

and begins to accelerate toward the final

target. maybe one day I’ll come full circle

and meet the boy of my original self.

what would we say? who would be

the teacher? and who the taught?

how much might finally be forgiven?

Winter is ending at last in these mountains

but the snow lingers in the shadows

like a difficult lesson— that everything melts

but in its own time, that even old snow

can still shine, that old ice

can still be dangerous, that old fingers

can still bleed.

 

 

© oldbonesnewsnow.com/ J.A. Fink

the heart of nothing

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near Danish flat, just past

yellow cat, the highway drops

from the hills, flattens

 

into an arrow

pointed straight at the heart

of nothing at all.

 

my father

was an Ohio farmboy, but always

loved the desert

 

would stand staring into it

for hours from the edge

of the motel

 

parking lot. all

that room—room enough for all

the dreams, all

 

the disappointment.

we buried his ashes in a small

square hole in a hillside

 

in ohio—

redwing blackbirds and endless

rows of corn.

 

up ahead, a storm

has gathered, blue tendrils of rain

reaching down

 

to stroke the desert

as if tomorrow has already

begun to cry

 

on our behalf

knowing as it must

all that lies ahead.

 

windows down,

I kill the lights and stomp

on the gas. fat drops

 

slap the windshield

while the wind tears at my hair.

I’m flying now

 

accelerating

into the black heart of the storm

spinning free

 

like an arrow

pointed straight at the heart

of nothing at all.

 

© Old Bones, New Snow/ JA Fink

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