Robert Bottman

In the Event of the Same Center

The sky is packed with blue
which could make us believe in the future.

Cottonwoods stand and sway a long time.
Donkeys bend and swing back up beside the creek.

Inexact and repeated observations.
The eye shelters to a cleft that pulls through repelling dirt.
The water starts and goes of its own power.

Inside the house, surviving spiders.
We train our attention on whatever needs
fixing. He sparks and I clean.

Leaves slip from the tree, understanding
the need to unleash. We notice the eaten truths
in the garden and we might as well praise the restless guests.

The cold earth draws on.
Purposeful tracks shaped in loitering light.
Out of this story of narrowing, juncos gulp beetles and ants.

How it could mean nothing.
How it has come to mean protest.

In the Valley in Separate Fragments

I go down through the door at the bottom of the hill
and type my place on the earth.

All the houses are sunny and closed in silence. Backyards hip
with the powerful sky. Suppose

the last place we went is the first place
we will never go back to. Cows linger cheerless

beside the road with their usual story. The mountains
know what to do—and do it even at night.


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