I am watching wild geese return to the lake through
the scuff of a bus window.
Their formations point away
from weather and its violations
as if to disavow the tedium we suffer
half the year in winter’s gated districts.
Or the effigies we burn in private
to lure them back. Joslyn lifts her head
off my shoulder and her gaze slants away,
loses itself in the metallic light of the city
as it pistons between day and night.
Some nights in my arms she stretches
as if she might reach every corner of the room at once,
and when I fear she may I pull her closer.
Or the way her wrist will push into my thumb,
piano-wires pulled along the bone,
the buried tension in the angle of her smile.
These are the variables we consciously align
so as to love each other with the passing dignity
of a dream dreamt well,
each moment leaning into the next
like dominoes balanced on the rim
of our everydayness. More feet shuffle
past us in the aisle, the hiss of brakes collapsing.
Behind us a dozen white wings
upheld on their reflections.
Downtown fossilizes in a hierarchy of glass, steel,
tinted brick stacked up like sedimentary deposits
any geologist might examine to deduce extinctions.
I wait for Kim on the top floor of a used book store.
Through the window the particle physics
of traffic spree in well-oiled agreement.
If there must be a secret hope it is for
collision, a catalyst to shake the machinery
of our expectations into something new and horrible.
When she arrives I tell her nothing of this,
instead motion to a column of Rilke’s collected works
collecting dust in the far corner of
the vicious quality of being human.