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.