When I Could, and Then Couldn’t, and Then the Moon
Thomas Caraway

I hear them as distance. Ears ringing.
Voices in smoke. Trees bare and the creek
unburgeoned by runoff. Damp earth
and leaf. Ground crack, un-ice.
Winter-dead branches we burn for fuel.
We come to the fire in threes,
something solid in the cold shape
of spring. Ringing. I cannot hear.
Soon, no light. I still see
their shapes in the dark, familiar
and haze, beautiful notmine,
their voices ringing the fire.
Smoke and wind. Then—orange, low
moon, troubled behind clouds. Me,
the distance the horizon
clouded and alive
unable to see, finally,
what may or may not be there.

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