Temporary Embodiment of a Passing Cloud


I came back on the roads made for leaving. I began welcoming the moon and
entered the dream life of water.
Moonlight replaced the air. It traveled there without a platform. She held all the
clouds she had been carrying in her shoe up to the light to verify the integrity of their
Although I was so transparent I participated openly in my own patience, I still
carried the same handful of weightless thorns (when I arrived at the village, it was a book
and I closed my eyes to read it) and the smell of several shadows, feeding.
In time I could no longer pronounce my surface name. Tentative, I was sniffing at
my universe like a falling star, as if to mirror an absence, as lover and monk.
It was like coming upon a cave in darkness and finding someone forgotten, breath’s
candle barely flickering from the creature’s soft opening as your name is spoken and one
of you reaches out.
And the loved one released her eyes like ferrets darting into the hole after prey (it’s
been like this before I’ve been told and you went hungry). As someone’s god, she carried
long black bolts of hair tied to her belt (the sky was like that in those days, its beauty
bestial and dense with instinct) and wrapped her fingerprint around another zebra.
I could have been the prince with his tongue frozen to the moat (only the stripper’s
biblical snake having thus far fallen into the stars in his eyes) and I could have been
released but for the scribe’s familial objection to the square of lawn upon which the
virginal cake was performed.
She did indeed want a child, but the lovely couple ran out of frozen deposits and
withdrew. It’s true that sometimes we do not wish to be circled with arms as a gesture of
affection or possessed of a violin that would prefer to be a horse, even if it will never be a
horse. It’s as if the law of possibility shook your hand and the gangster’s powder-puff
face proved to be dusted with tiny engines living in the middle ages. Drive around back
advised the priest’s young undercarriage, but the particular desire had not yet succumbed
to the compass of its potential and the engines were far more delicate than they appeared.
Right now I’m already the next accordion with time to deceive my keys, the result
a song like a spout leaning into the stream of river rising to itself even as falling, greenly
hinted and as attractively unreliable as topiary. I’ve had several flavored bridges offer to
and I still have my Gertrude Stein bread rolls (a calling card which does no calling might
well get bored) (the gentle retarded one having stolen the swan’s headgear) (the child’s
teddy bear barely half eaten by his lovely horse) (the space beneath my upper zipper only
once mistaken for a porcelain soup tureen) and a disgusting memory of the charming
gastronome who threw me from the window even as he asked for the hand that broke my
I’m saying this but not to a cloudless sky, the reticent pathway.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.