Pouring Libation
by Kenneth Elliott



At dusk, the world will stop spinning for a moment,
as if it hated to drop me in darkness, to shadow me
on its rocky back. And if I’m watching, drink in hand,
bourbon on my tongue, tasting it, warming it until the fumes
suffuse me, the sun will hang as a drop of rain,
hang until it swells too heavy for the sky to hold.

There’s not much to do but drink and watch the rain.
Midget trees on the horizon move closer, become dusky travelers
overburdened with distance, their feet padded in blisters.
The grass catches flame in the wind, burns smokeless, holds fire
deep in every twisting blade; and you are back from the grave,
laughing for all the world like you remember me too much.

Against the weight of your shadow, the sky drops the sun
to splash against the hard line of the horizon, to flatten
until the grass soaks it in. I fall back in the sudden spin,
reach for you as if you could catch me, let me hang on.
But you are all shade and steam and flickering heat.
You laugh and tell me to drink and watch the rain.





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