Flying West after Einstein on the Beach
Anvil clouds ratcheting up the uncertain line
where white distance meets blue. Before the mountains,
stripes and squares of farms, the occasional, reckless
disorder of rivers. Rivulets muscle into the plains
intimate with wind farms and pump jacks,
crops throw their backs into the dark folds and flow.
I am caught between the love of an opera
and the sadness of the fields. The music thinks itself
mosaic, an ever-shifting pattern: light, numbers,
foliage, the advancing parade of punctuation.
It grows ornamental as conversation
on the shortest night, on a balcony bar,
a tree lavish between deck
and midnight blue. For five hours the world
on the edge of its chair.
To repeat the phrase, the rap on the door,
the studied breath, until one is let in. I don’t know
how notes measure against form. I don’t
know how tone in its waver
is so unflawed, even without the violin’s meander. Or how,
even as the insisting erasure of a hand can charm cloth—
like a field, like a continent of fields—the hand also remembers
the earth’s strangeness, all its feral, uneven darkness—
This is about stories left on the table, all of us
leaving, forever waving like siblings
Maleea Acker is the author of two books of poems and a book of essays. She has an MFA in Writing, an MA in Literature and has received fellowships to arts residencies in Canada, the US, Spain and Mexico. She teaches at the University of Victoria where she is completing a PhD in Cultural Geography.