Mountains, great bones of the earth,
slither – snake rib-cages –
onto quilted plains,
like just so many reptiles that have
eviscerated the earth entire.
Sick, spawning snakes that died
in uniform stretches, leaving patchwork lands –
set borders from a vicious void.
Only rivers dare worm across
in a grateful symbiosis
affronting the pockmarked face of the earth.
And the sun searches this face.
And the clouds form patient banks
to hide its hungry enormity.
And I see only the breaking of days,
and a veil set upon the earth,
a shroud to cover indecent, writhing parts
or hide them from the eyes of morning.
I too would ask the clouds and human shroud
to hide me in their breath –
my darkling, reptile eyes
can no more stand that light,
than all our ritual stone geologies –
my skin like all created, fallen mountain graces.