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He went there to have it

exact. The broken prose of the bush roads.

The piles of half-burnt slash. Stumps

high on the valley wall like sconces

on a medieval ruin. To have it tangible.

To carry it as a load rather than as mood

or mist. To heft it - earth measure,

rock measure - and feel its raw drag without phrase

for the voice or handle for the hand.

He went there to hear the rapids curl around

the big basaltic boulders saying

husserl husserl, saying I'll

do the crying for you, licking the schists

into flat skippable discs. That uninhabit"ed laughter

sluicing the methodically shorn valley.

He went there to finger the strike/slip

fissure between rock and stone between Vivaldi's

waterfall and the wavering note a varied thrush

sets on a shelf of air. Recognizing the sweet

perils rushing in the creek crawling

through the rock.

He knew he should not trust such

pauseless syntax.

That he should just say no.

But he went there just the same.

Loss Creek

Don McKay

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Natalka Bilotserkivets