…still the air, what rusty trill unsettles
from the tree?
I am listening for the direction of your next call.
My whole body devout…
…the river’s water is a glass of sky rounding the bend.
I know you are the shy bird reluctant to sight. I know
your sounding sifts through my emptied branches…
…furtive beating, mine, echoes
the kingfisher’s pitched flight.
…the wind swept over the waters in the body of a heron.
All was quiet but for the wing’s beat,
like breath, each lift and cast.
This was the first moment, devotion born on my tongue….
I was of one body, the water, and it was separate from yours.
In the space between us,
my first prayer, my longing song.
How eerie the sound that rose to fill the world, all heartbroken,
All my life I’ve only wanted you back in my body…
…if you could see the flight made word, swallows,
all beat and lead and bank, their devout bodies
spelling the air, what speech, what tongue?…
Grace, like a knife cutting God’s voice into you,
cutting the sky with swift shapes…
I stand. Pain and love the same
cerulean blue above me…
I heard you speak in the language of your people
…like water from the sky
inside my body the apple orchard shook awake
…opened its branches to you, bright blaze, oriole.
…like blossoms, harbinger of fruit…
…the kindle of your song.
- Interview of Kristine Snodgrass - November 29, 2021
- A Compendium of Notional Words & The Medicine of Blues - September 5, 2018
- Four Fragments - April 27, 2016