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Friday, February 20, 2009

Lines on a Sand Cliff

Those parallel erosion lines the river made in the sand cliff centuries ago
remain somehow in the delicate wall—we could pull it down
with just our hands: a loud yell, an avalanche; yet there it stands
undisturbed except where dogs and swimmers have dug dry sluices in the form—
still it stands; its ageless indifferent triumph over the infernal patience of gravity
remains. I try so hard to find some cause for wonder in this
elaborate breastwork, these years of patient labor this
abstract aeolian rushmore of lines that are
just there—variegated, beautiful, evenly spaced parallel lines
like type on the page of the cliff, like lines of graffiti
the river wrote in the soft sand wall as slow centuries
of water evenly receding drew themselves along, as time does,
as water does, informing us with the infernal patience of gravity,
informing us—please give me your hand—informing us of nothing
we did not already understand about time and about water and the pull of the earth—
about forces so delicate—like the forces of sound in a word—so delicate
you do not feel them, no, you cannot feel them
work.

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