I climb;
are cathedrals built.

-Gennady Aygi

Origin is the goal
-Walter Benjamin

  Always upside down, coming down
the mountain
we head the wrong way
back into the light—or night
now the other side
of repair: paths that catch, caught
in a rope that rules the air. North routs South
tears down our holiday sail
The skyline turns on, are still fawn
standing at the edge of the woods
  We bother a farmer who brings us
We read right the map
Our way: between a leap and a lope
The wind there leads us

  Noon: water keeps walking
up the numbers mean
none to go around. Another metric:
wet hair and a dry mouth down
Misread progress reads
as a bill we receive while
our eyes are on vacation
among formations, mating in the air
  How do words alight?
They act directed, behave as if
we just chew the food they give us. Our breath
rings a bent pattern through the show
Enough to see rainforests still playing
on youtube. We thought we’d never see them.

 Lost inside blue sheets, looking out the window
we barely weigh, barely display. Drawn by
fingertip light among odd castles,
mills, brambles, ferns, a cuckoo bird
even as our feet drag questions through the grass
down the road. It writes its own way
of being displaced. Is it place
where we are now? Our feet here
your head in the trees. Illegible steps
tend to the garden, to breakfast
Signs we’re both ways, bent back
in that direction. We hurry on slowly
lest the past let go, unmeddle our present
Fruiting worlds, slowly bruising

 Crossed the same river twice through
we learned their different names: dear
unlike our first feeling that blinks
fading out of foam. Brother
squared stares out the pier
waits, the other side pushes
back the pond, slack ear. Wade in
   further splay
through the middle thin waiting
and adding, follow that shore
to where her loose rain
starts to fall. A now lost woods
offers us pause, an airy
margin for meadow fresh blues

 Bright exes in heaven, those poor folk
motortown’s homeless brethren
wrung above: our dear speakers. Pockets
properly gone, occasionally pop, present us
with reservoirs of their seeing. In between:
static streaming louder in its range. Walking staves
our stacking views together, translates
into trance: nought’s red hot nail gun
The sweat on our brows: oily, whole and healing
a rock fort, fast holding in the dark
with doors open, empty of ourselves
we listen in as different names
braid in and out the water. Silence
bleeds into waiting, blatant time, interior dark

  Himalayan impatience
dawn casts us up, upbraids us. Our eye
an angle of sunshine
anchored throughout morning, perspective takes off
climbs to the front of the light—sweet roar
then surfaces at our lips
Layered ambition bathes about the dirt
So buildings amass building
massive little space
left inside to walk about. Being
without chests, we grab it
up our mouths, elaborate our eyes
toward infinity. Some single mountains
opt against our vanishes

 Sweet grandma, now grandpa, proud
muscles cave my chest, reeds feed my palm
Your Greek thorns keep me
caught in that flowering hole, a rose
exposed throughout that swarms. Camped
in the rain are cities, towns
without a place, our chance gathers
as it’s cast
  Sparrows now
pluck tall seeds, run them underground
Children playing on a pear
make the world their throne. Service waters
that still top of the sky. So much cold
slow and industrious, pockets our soul

  Err further our steps
ply into fields so labor our heart
Stone, not yet ready
to be flight, hides all exposed
Idle stone
standing on stone, worked flush
by hand, with blazing faces
and appetent breath
 Entranced, noon enters our step
Hand in hand and broken by the poem
we lope along and hang—
happily twined fruit
shimmered from the branch. Thirst crowds
our mouth, rounds our neck. We can
and turn away to language

 Mountains and plains invent us
sunrise finds our east end’s now
a bend in language
Listening sifts between our cheeks, leads
that labyrinth inside out: a light blue crown
Drawn right, stone wanders lifted
so threshold to dome to apse breathe back
our serial disappearance Dawns
set sail gone steps ring out crowd
further our pulse Hush weighs in
is harmony’s hinted sieve
The garden’s here now always
we forget, we’re distance
breaking in between all this lush green

  Our bent shoulders round the dream
steeped acres of shade root her single image
in a plural body born only to sunrise
Days now so out loud landscapes wander
from a flower’s listening palm. Our ear
rises from among, holds
the hearth in place, looks out. Language
looks back, outlasts the garden gathered
behind her scattered stones, wrecked borders
Morning and afternoon, the sun augments
our forgetting, makes of us
cancelled animal noise. Never drowned
quieter nights draw the river out
the ambient dark swells in our hands

  Riverrock beds down
their image rains from the ceiling, stares
Primary red twists back a new music
uplifting another side of air
Feet fall up and down our spine
time that path rightly called a ball
The train lifts off the track, distresses
the unbent letters. Lightning leaves us
wrecked behind signs. Blessing’s many hands
we wrestle back inside the beat, keep
the horizon pulsing in our palms
Polychrome waters rise up
crowd out loud : her forgotten mouth

For more information about this piece, see this issue's legend.

Colby Gillette is the author of the forthcoming collection Hymn Underground (Spect!) and the chapbooks, Without Repair (Called Back Books) and Red of the Dawnbreakers: Translations of René Char (Spect!). He holds an MFA from Saint Mary's College of California and a Ph.D. from UNLV. He lives and teaches in Pittsburgh.

Blue Slide Playground, Frick Park
Pittsburgh, PA

This is where I journey to most with my two young sons as they settle into Pittsburgh. It's very conducive to their fantasies of superheroes and their explorations of their newfound physical possibilities.