by Tanya Jarvik
Our land is very beautiful, you once said,
the limitations of language
giving my feet a place to stand.
On common ground gifted by ambiguity
I looked at the words cold and clear
and felt myself in them, and you there too:
an expanse of possibility, an ocean of silence,
a plain of speech, and the inarticulate cries
of seabirds circling through spokes of sun.
We came together late, amidst woods
and wanderings, still surrounded
by that fabled forest in which each tree
is its own belief – but here and now
we pass the time easily, not needing rescue.
This place is our homeland,
earth I want to press my belly to, my knees,
my forehead – because this close I can hear
my words in your voice, the spiral
I use to make my shell, rooms where I sleep.
Here there are showers of leaves,
a rain of white petals, fruit we never tasted,
pines, snowy and orchestral green,
rocks, icefalls, wonder, even that cloudbank
of the future shot through with delight:
all these things we imagine, being.