Between the River's Curves
for miles as if miles could shrink distance down, tighten the gap between.
The river's curves and the bank's decline, the darkness, the silted ground,
I lose ground on the man I am, until now, pursuing (out of need).
The fragrance of fragments diminishes the lines I have drawn—windy map—
by turns I lose my head and footing, my clean line (silt-smeared).
Pursuit in this place is a way of life, as is loss (of what one pursues),
but what sucks is the time spent en route to what, at last, is no at last.
What sucks is this intrusion into what started as action (at least motion),
this failure to close with a gesture that manages more than failure (to close).
Brian Henry's first book of poems, Astronaut, was recently published by Carnegie Mellon University Press.
Originally published in the February/March 2002 issue of Boston Review