Loss Creek
by Don McKay

copyright © 2006 by Don McKay

He went there to have it
exact. The broken prose of the bush roads.
The piles of half-burnt slash. Stumps
high on the valley wall like sconces
on a medieval ruin. To have it tangible.
To carry it as a load rather than as mood
or mist. To heft it – earth measure,
rock measure – and feel its raw drag without phrase
for the voice or handle for the hand.
He went there to hear the rapids curl around
the big basaltic boulders saying
husserl husserl, saying I’ll
do the crying for you, licking the schists
into flat skippable discs. That uninhabit”ed laughter
sluicing the methodically shorn valley.
He went there to finger the strike/slip
fissure between rock and stone between Vivaldi’s
waterfall and the wavering note a varied thrush
sets on a shelf of air. Recognizing the sweet
perils rushing in the creek crawling
through the rock.
He knew he should not trust such
pauseless syntax.
That he should just say no.
But he went there just the same.