The Man Moves Earth

The man moves earth

To dispel grief

He digs holes


In proportion to what is taken

what is given multiples-


and dirt mounds

rooted with flame-tipped flowers

He carries trees like children

struggling to be set down.

Trees that have lived

out their lives,

he cuts and stacks

like loaves of bread

which he will feed the fire.

The green smoke sweetens

his house.

The woman sweeps air

to banish sadness.

She dusts floors,

polishes objects

made of clay and wood.

In proportion to what is taken

what is given multiples-

the task of something

else to clean.

Gleaming appliances

beg to be smudged,

breathed upon by small children

and large animals

flicking out hope

as she swirls by,

flap of the tongue,

scratch of the paw,

sweetly reminding her.

  • The man moves earth,

the woman sweeps air.

Together they pull water

out of the other,

pull with the muscular

ache of living,

hauling from the deep

well of the body

the rain-swollen,

the flame tipped,

the milk-fed-

all that cycles

through lives moving,

lives sweeping, water

circulating between them

like breath,

drawn out of by light.