The radiator gurgles to itself above
the window you left open to the cold.
At first the cochleae roar out
a false alarm:
the cedars are ragged with motion
and they blur with the bulrushes
as though fresh water were poured
on this fresh watercolor.
Reach for the headboard, reeling,
just as you did in an earthquake you remember
from down on the West Coast.
Someone is running out of ideas.
And in that vertigo you know that everything
you apprehend—the sheen of oil on the pond,
baritonal cries of horned owls, the brittle shadow
of elk horns on the taiga,
even the cold bolus of the overworked forms
of all things—
can never reach us without wading through
a sea of shimmer, a column of heat
like the one that duped the Egyptians:
you are kept from it all
until the last of these children has crossed over
into her Canaan.