Past the river this evening
by Eric James Cruz
Past the river this evening,
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.
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
In these pauses
fresh air. Everything beyond us
slips from leaves that are like so many bodies
in the ground. I try speaking about
--the broken blades of grass.
Hours later, we begin our ritual,
darkened in the whispers
of this cadence—
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.