Happy Valley

It is
on the map
which I have marked
with a purple Post-It Note
because someone always
calls to make sure it
really existed - out there
near Rattle-Snake and Charlie
Ridge -
if they call, I never see
their eyes, but I know
his eyes, behind the dark
and theirs
all hold a glassy stillness
in which lovely veins
branch and branch into
fractal infinity where
blood and river channels
be all the same -
and around the frozen
ice will be green
so breathtakingly
alive the leaves push
hearts to the
limit against bamboo ribs -
in the gull wind off
Lake Michigan, we met
because he wore the bulldog
on his shoulder
and I always ask;
when we parted, he took
off his bicycle gloves
to shake hands
the wordless truth of skin
against living skin.

Constance Lee Menefee
Copyright 2000