One item of news crept out of your palm—
the most authentic details still open,
like the beginning of a dance
with its little figures running
shapeless, flattened, and hideous.
You forgot your pen
and your good temper in uniform—
the morning you went down to the river
a white crane rose behind the ambush.
The beat of propellers lifted your eyes—
You saw a barefoot child becoming
no longer alive, her long river leaving.
Even colors couldn’t maintain
their own languages—tongue-tied,
the magic sound of the stream,
the invisible wet engine utterly homesick
and racing in you.
You ran up the new blacktop road
that encircled the overlook—
it was there you left your helmet
it was there you lost your fight.