by Davis McCombs


The river is a wondrous machine. Haunt

of the Moon’s changing face, it drifts among

the knobs and foothills:  there, deep and fluid;

here, rippling over gravel beds.  The water

swims with flesh-  walleye, minnow.  From nights

foggy and indeterminate rise mornings

when the Sun burns like a scald.  On its banks

frogs pipe, the grass bends and rustles.  It is

the singularity of chance and the shuffle

of things, stone basins where the chaff I’ve cast

on waters in the Cave emerged some several

hours hence.  From the high stone bluffs nearby,

the water shines with an inner light-

makeshift, shifting, a candle in the current.

(From Ultima Thule, by permission)