I found a geophysicist

      by Christopher Arigo


I find that I say
your name differently
and keep it safe in my mouth—
lips parted—just so—
to allow our sighs escape.

I learn new words: regolith or
batholith, syncline or anticline—

Which one are you? I wonder.
Downward or convex?

        (Rego means blanket in Greek,
        means cloaked in stone).


Questions sound different
when I ask you—
a softer lilt
end of line.

Or when you counter:
haiku or sonnet—which one are you?

        (A haiku is a moment
        snatched from time, says Bashō).


Questions are weightier
somehow, yet afloat, drifting
almost like answers or mantle.

How far into the earth
are you willing to go?

        (I want to be cloaked
        in stone with you.

        I want to snatch moments
        from time for you).

Questions are plates waiting to collide,
waiting to make Himalayas.

From Kathleen Flenniken’s “Far Field” blog as Washington State poet laureate, posted 23 January 2014.