The Works of Kyle Torke 

Kyle Torke teaches at The Colorado College and the United States Air Force Academy and has published in every major genre, including books of poetry and fiction.  His most recent book of poems is Still in Soil(2009), and the most recent fiction is Tanning Season (2009), both from Audience Press. When he’s not teaching Shakespeare, Hemingway, or Atwood, he’s teaching his sons (Conrad and Coover) and daughters (Ava and Liv) how to fly kites and alligator wrestle in Colorado.

All Poems © Kyle Torke

After Falling Off a Raft in the Royal Gorge

 for Eleanor

From underwater, the world is new again:
the blue seam of sky hovers above the cliffs
like a wound, and derelict pines shimmer,
sentries keeping all in the raft safe.  The moss
waves to me from the boulders sheered
and dropped into the river, half out of water
now, their darker half below the surface,
where I am,  unable to rise,
the bubbles swarming like fish.


                                                     The world
moves, but I am still.  The current pushes
me forward, a mother urging me to school,
but the door will not open.   I am a child
again, unborn, in the grand womb of time,
peering from the translucent belly to a world
perfect and perfected in the scrim of air:
The river, the beautiful place:   noiseless
and empty, suspended like a yo-yo spinning
at the end of the string.


                                            I am out of time.
The Potameides are above me.  I can see a hand
stretched toward me from the light, the blue
scar behind the fingers, the sentries scattering
in the air, hiding behind the hillside stones,
the shadow of the raft like Michelangelo’s clouds
drifting away with the hand, the fingers, the touch
that would spark life
and fill me with everything necessary
to rise and breathe again.