Jan/Feb 2022  •   Poetry


by Robert Detman


How we hauled ourselves up a mountain past
trees that would become a house for someone
the lake a mirror of clairvoyance, calculating

how many swimming pools of water wash
through the cataract, the fire nurtured from
the ashes of the night before, blue light

reflecting onto my page in commiseration, the
land opening up to us in a meadow aptly named,
how the sky was not only over us, but within.

This is not a lost letter to what has been wrought;
who was right and who was wrong and how we
have to work now to find that sky. Time gives

other tools, and a capacity for not needing the
lake, the cataract, the blank page. This testament
to a yearning past resembles lost pieces to an

incoherent puzzle. Going in was the journey
we concocted, knowing the answers were
already written, stepping anxiously into the

threshold of air, where we could fly around
such landscapes like in dreams needing no
sustenance, just a constant seeking. I have

had to claim a position to get back to here,
where I wonder how to face the mountain
again, and will survey the vast purlieu that

we could not have known going in though
we had every hope of achieving, only that it
came to resemble another landscape completely.