The Works of Kyle Torke
After Falling Off a Raft in the Royal Gorge
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.
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.