Issue Forty-Four - Summer 2024

Where the Voices Took Her

By Richard Widerkehr

Where the air people
build their flowery cities; where llamas
don’t have nasty habits but stare
out of their dark eyes;
where Shangri-La falls away in snowfields
and she slides down the white slopes,
and the planet’s radioactive waste
can’t seep through the snow;
where ghost dancers
resurrect the dreaming herds
whose white clouds block the sun;
where everyone’s ears are ringing with a hum
like a TV’s turned down low;
where lovers get married on mountaintops,
wearing T-shirts, shorts, sunglasses,
and long, dark preacher coats–
they drink champagne and climb a sheer rock face
as the sun comes out and the hidden lakes
lie scraped of all their pain.

Someday I’ll cross her frozen fields,
climbing gear dangling from my neck.
I’ll squeeze the needled
sunlight in my fist and walk through
her stampeding clouds, her avalanche of sighs.
Come back, come back.

First published in Crab Creek Review, then in Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press), and then reprinted in Night Journey (Shanti Arts Press).

Copyright 2024 Widerkehr