All gone before my feet, the gray Kaweah raging foam
to the rumble of boulders underwater, scent of sulphur
above the cutbank, 1955. A black & white photograph
of lightbulb strings above the dance floor walled by sad,
round eyes of dark cars with real fenders, simple grins and
children, secured in my mind before washing downstream.
A temporary place deposited along the river, croaking cattails
with bullfrogs, fuzzy moonshine shadows, smell of slow water,
gasp of lovers steaming on a warm breeze beyond the fiddling
and motion glowing within a black and buggy summer night,
I imagine I might have liked before the war changed everything,
and nothing, at the same time. The rumble of certain words
resonates beneath the surface, slow roll and grind, a winnowing
of cobbles and sand suspended in floods of feeling – when chunks
of cold, molten mountains remade the riverbed before the dam.