Due Date: Friday, October 29, 1999 at 11:59PM
I heard coyotes for the first time
in conversation with what moon there was.
I don't know how they knew I was there,
deep in the pines and the junipers,
or whether they knew it at all. Accuracy
is all I want -- my skis to glide
through Killyon Canyon as if I know
the land and where it dips, where it rises
suddenly beneath the snow and where the creek
is truly frozen.
How much we know by guessing
and forgetting there are dangers
when you have no light but stars -- no way back
if your arms give out or you lose sight
of which trail through which clearing
will take you home again. Wanting nothing
but the sky turned white against the mountains
and the silence not silence but water
running underneath the frozen creek.
This is how you cross it.
This is how you fall in love
With accuracy. I don't know how much
the body has to do with it, but I would say my lungs
are bruise-colored rivers of trout
cascading faster than Killyon Creek
and with less reason. It is how the story
begins. The mountains lit the sky.
Coyotes devoured the stars.
Department of Computer Science
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA 95616-8562