It was the bear’s face, not the wolf’s,
that resembled yours in sleep; down
under the large paw, denned in dreams
of certain unity and salmon—
so in a patch of late snow
my hand melted
for what can’t be
half a turn now, this planet without
beating heart. His face my scotoma,
the only constellation.
I want the sky
to be the ceiling
that caught you rising.
Mourning doves. Chickadees. Coyote howls.
Say nothing, please, I ask the owls. I cannot bear it.
In the far west
restless mountains search:
see how jagged and lean,
what chasms open dusklight
with fingernail slivered moons
spilling into fjords. Under the black,
sure and fast, an orca brings you home.