The Pearly Chaos

by William Doreski

The ice is skating from the sky
to spread itself like tissue
across our pale exhalations.
No driving to the post office
or supermarket today. No walk
in heaving evergreen forest
this morning, the yak of crows
angry as runaway commas.

You in your city loft remain
aloof from the pearly chaos.
Here in the New Hampshire woods
the creak of overladen trees
threatens to smash a culture
and release its meanest spirits.
Not even the grossest lyric
can absolve the landscape and thaw
the skim on which no one,
not even the embodied Jesus,
could walk. The crows call us both
by name, but sealed inside
your urban shell you’re secure
as a hermit crab. Naked enough
to pass the most minute inspection,

I stand before the mirror and hope
this self-erasure is gradual
enough to allow me to complete
my study of horizon lines
competing across the seasons.
I also hope to greet you someday
where weather intersects weather
in a chorus of elegant sighs.
We’ll shake hands across the gap
and salute ourselves goodbye
for good, all the ice melted
and the crackle of sunlight
flattering our creased expressions
as if framing us in history.

William Doreski teaches writing and literature at Keene State College in New Hampshire.