All grand arc, the geologic upswing—
time, muscle, a pit of snakes crumpled in the dirt.

An accelerated erosion. How much you ask
of the body in its breaking. smaller, many.

A tax you’ll pay weeks from now, driving southbound
on interstate 89, hand a stiffened claw clenching steering wheel.

Switched-back, cribbed-in, water-barred,
live willows staked to grow the bank in place.

The hills are moving closer. The body is a tool—
hacksaw, c-clamp, mattock tamping the soft earth down.

Revetment: the awful slope, a cattle fence strung mid-air
like telephone wire, earth just gone, earth sloughed off.

The body. The tool. A twisted knot. Cliff-edge, barbed wire,
fence post dangling like a splintered bone.



Carolyn Orosz