I left that sea. But changing weather brings
In the late news of what I need—of salmon
Rivers of Scotland, Greenland's miles-deep ice,
The damp off wolf fur in western Alberta,
(Smoke of summer fires in Oregon).
And helpless salt-dust blown up from Baja.
A town called El Arco exactly halfway
Up from the tip of that land's dry finger.
An old woman feeds us eggs and chilis,
Tortillas and coffee. Then we sit in dust,
Ocotillo's shade, waiting two days.
Before the truck of kind, crazed Mexicans
Picks us up on its way north, I give up
On going to watch the calving whales
Rolling and blowing in the whaler's lagoon,
So consummately have we just learned
To please each other, the starlight grating
Silent in dry wind. And we sleep above
The deep volcanic river. At cool dawn,
Trickling water from a canteen.
We wash each others genitals. Clean hands
And faces, a dew on our pubic hair.
Poems by Jamie Irons:
Hearing, But Not Seeing, a Cardinal
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets