before another sky

i considered leaving this entry empty
a kind of quiet
a kind of godspeed
to the lioness
for first steps (or perhaps one might argue last steps) along the bridge
i imagine this bridge an arc over a creek and her feet bare
white linen shirt/dress
not unlike the unlikely creek i jumped across today
(two stones and one branch and a hand held out)

i considered an empty post to simulate what sky looks like
when it is ripped open
before another sky pushes through

i considered all this with hot shoulders and calves
(how tonight the sunheat stays with me
long after it sets)

i considered the kind of newness
the kind of echo
the kind of hole
the kind of turning to say something to someone
who you thought was there

i brought seven tiny shells
one for each decade if i remembered correctly
left them in magic spots along the way
for her journey
including one tossed to the prairie
yellow against bare blue sky
two tossed into the ‘river’ (creek)
(one from the bridge
and one where the 1816 stone dam breaks open)
one tossed into the shade of a tree (oak?)
that reminded me of the midwest
and one tucked near the arc of branches
the kind of arc one must duck under to pass through
one left on top of a wooden post
marking the boundary between path and sensitive habitat
one dropped where we sat at the top
where we sweated salt on the way up
redfaced and determined
where we arranged ourselves in various formations of
sitting and standing under the hum of electrical wires strung
where someone had been eating sunflower seeds
and from where one can see the strip mine to the east
the freeway to north
and downtown blanketwrapped in marine layer to the west
i want to tell you about the colors in the east
purples, blues, grayblacks, whites, some yellow cut in there
colors you’d find in a snow-on-a-mountain landscape
only it’s not a snow-on-a-mountain place
not like other snow-on-a-mountain places i know

partially it’s just how we are
and partially it’s the heat
driving our words deeper into our bodies