This one safe road across the spine
of the Luberon matters most in wartime,
but even now it may keep some starlet alive.
Notables reside on these firred slopes
invisibly as good intentions.
I too, invisible, rise up like wealth into the hills,
stalking parables of solitude, its milk
fever that leads to death or growth.
Neural shimmer in an old friend’s book
haunts memory as a jaded saint
might haunt the alpine ice traps,
Sainte Eustace wavering between zeal
and his reluctant recognition
that vision is constructed—
Christ crucified on antlers of an elk.
Bring on the operators, equal and unequal.
If winter has no hours and water
no walls, what will hold us together
after the thaw,
who’ve made so much of these signs?