Past the river this evening

December 31, 2018

 

by Eric James Cruz 

 

 

Past the river this evening,

                                 steam

                in the shaken months of summer,

   where jays buzz long-shadowed in the trees.


   We climb to wind for a quiet place—

                 It is no secret to the hundreds of walkers

   who spend breath here—

                  over stone and rot from Spring’s        blossoms

   to the one trail I know even when its               dark.


   Moving

           along this road of                        dust and stars,

my skin is warm.

           Now and then                                             I find you

   stooping, like the flowers winter craves,

           stopping by a mossy log        or damp patch of mud

   to rest—


   In these pauses

            fresh air.                                     Everything beyond us

   slips from leaves that are like so many bodies

            in the ground. I try speaking about

   something lost—

 

                                         --the broken blades of grass.

 

   Hours later, we begin our ritual,

              stretching muscles

                            darkened in the whispers

of this cadence—

   One. Two.

             Keep pulling.


We are spent, loving

   the near burn of our bodies. The lake, too, now a ghost,

               a poem growing older by light.


Rants of midnight, the coming haze, a desire

   to be home.


And the trees are like thinning beards,

   without the weight of music.

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

Eric James Cruz is a high school English teacher and poet who lives in San Antonio, Texas.  His most recent work appears or is forthcoming in 8 Poems, Ghost City Review, Carve, and River River Review.  Cruz is currently pursuing his MFA at Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers.  Follow him @encodedmuses on Twitter. 

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