I drained me to leave the Hudson,
to disappear that cradle of my childhood,
to leave behind the tepid sweetness
and slow crescendo of crickets in June.
I squandered that river’s depth
to plummet south of its end: Carolina,
with dirt roads red as hell.
Immortal insects roar in March
and summer’s moisture seeps through the
deception of early darkness in winter.
That river smoothes and swells
like a mother’s flesh pulling taut with new life.
It bears the cycles of everything
in its tiny brunette crests.
Down here is frantic life,
even twigs follow you with their eyes.
Ardor is wound around a screaming god
who singly holds vain prayers, and no one doubts.
Up by the Hudson I swooned,
I prayed to easy lapping against rocks.
I sought nothing but the nutty aroma of earth,
and deaths of trees,
so I could view their rebirth in late March,
the river thawing and ushering away ice
as once more silver fish glinted underneath.