Is this the pupil-dark vanishing point
you see each time I drive away from home?
Feel the deep earth updraft like a chill
running down. The plummet, should you fall
inside, like that sudden sinking feeling
when your momma didn't hear her doorbell or phone
ringing off the hook and you broke in
to find her light on, her reading in bed—Mom?
Momma?—warm and sweet and asking you
to please speak louder and, well, whose fault is it
if the phone is on the fritz? What were you thinking—
that after forty years the crevasse would be gone,
filled to the brim with rotting leaves and birds
and bones, the heaps representing all
the couldabeen and shouldabeen demises
you've grieved in anticipation? Gashes and gasps.
This is the wild fabled place your brothers
and daddy found the dog trapped deep inside,
the second time the firemen had to come
up on the mountain. You tell the story again
and we watch our step. You know how I am,
you say, as if looking both ways, my hand in your voice.