I speak in years and coins. I speak my own name
across all contexts: deuce, deuce, deuce. If you were listening
needles kept tacit guard at the forest
beginning where snow fell in two directions,
once, by volume, once, by discernment. The first was mute,
and loved the world, the other was lost,
and loved the world. Intermission fell between them,
space for the rising, space for the stretching,
space for the yawning. A cello
curved beneath the bark, varnishing a sermon.
When the cloudwork went down and was melted
on the tongue, it was known that the work
had neither feather, nor pinion. Exposure took
quick root: the wingful idea of snow
lay down in gray waves. Breath
consented, tacked in the up & cross-drafts of winter.
Better than feckless, it could stick on a tightrope.
And did it. And did it. And did it. A weather ever
recruiting new camps: Loves me, Loves me not, Loves me,
Loves me not. So could indifference grow fond.
And sweet were the uses.
—“Cuckoo’s Report” excerpted from Weather Eye Open by Sarah Gridley (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by the Regents of the University of California.