Issue 164, Winter 2002-2003
What does he have to give? No less space
than usual opens above him,
outward to the Van Allen Belts and beyond,
but the expanse of his body diminishes
in the wide horizons girdling him;
this isn't the American East Coast—
that cozy scrunch of habitable scarp—
or even the rigged Bavarian stage
where elves carry the tannenbaum
through the wald, a unison of legends.
Here the draft thrills his pores, shimmers through him,
an inward shredding that renders him as stable
as a passel of streamers inside a hurricane.
What sort of gift would this be for the sugarplum
dreamers, hearth-tethered—old belly laugh
x-rayed by the wind: gusto, gusts, scatters
of sand whispering hoarse in the craw?