By Margot Kahn
He asked me once if I had touched a cloud and what it felt like and I said soft and his father said cold. And he asked if it was like bed, like lying down, and we tried to explain that a cloud is only a collection of tiny particles, water held together by air, a thing that you can be in and pass through and even touch, but that you cannot hold. It’s not a solid thing, I said, and then remembered that when you are young there’s no need to describe the intangible world in tangible terms; it is all the same: a cloud bed, a handful of air, a shadow-making machine. And then, looking at them, my husband and son, I thought but did not say that this is something like love.
This cold ocean is deep,
deep. Starfish play in the rocky seams,
drift and resist the tide.
On a map, the current appears to swerve
and fuel the waves that leave our feet slick with salt.
Olives pass from hand to hand,
crackers, cheese, peanut brittle.
In the garden, the heavy sunflowers
are closed for night by the time we arrive.
We eat supper inside at the long table.
The goats’ bells jingle across the road
and over our field the sheep graze like clouds.
Copyright Kahn 2017