How we lose ourselves / Bloodfire
By Alexander Etheridge
How we lose ourselves
Late February dark blows in
with a sudden gusting cold,
again claws of cold wind,
and the next page of grief turns—
The next plane of fire burns
into everything, again
burning, and no way back.
A ragged band of crows rises
from a stony, black-winter frost,
and again the seconds grow black.
What happens in our hearts
happens to the world.
What’s lost is gone and lost again—
And we give the road home away.
Quiet rover and winter endurer,
climbing snowy hills, rising into purple
cloudfall – Kory Bloodfire, following
the footfalls of sunset. Come back when you can
down the stoney path, through
shredding hail, to the other side of night –
Kory, the dark is burning, and your prayers
vanish into January earth
there where the aspens and the poplars
turn grim in a blue forest afterglow.
The cold is churning, your sight is dim.
Follow the creek out of the brambles and thorns
through a clearing where the raven
calls to the lamb, down to the valley of the half-moon.
Return before the ground takes your home and your
children, your blonde wheat fields and your lemon
orchard, back into its bed of damp clay and black
Alexander Etheridge has been developing his poems and translations since 1998. His poems have been featured in Wilderness House Literary Review, Cerasus Journal, The Cafe Review, The Dawntreader, Abridged Magazine, Susurrus Magazine, The Journal, and others. He was the winner of the Struck Match Poetry Prize in 1999.