Andrew Michael Roberts

what began as salt,

as blood and need, blue and

winged and laced

with spools of astral milk,

what began a sweet ache,

thunder of swifts,

the softly closed eyes of the air,

vertebrae, a louse,

what began as the ceremony of distance,

the ubiquitous dusk,

as barbed wire,—became us.

what began in winter,

abandoned by clouds,

innumerable white,

limbs weighty and mute,

sleek tusks of ice, a moment pierced

and perfect as night

mewling its clarity to the stars like a soul,

became us:

pewter and lye, spires of frost,

jazz glistening,

eyes loud and wet

and cold as new mouths

yawny at the womb’s eclipse.

pink nothings, tiny as a universe.

what began as salt became us.

and now. now—herons, galaxies, the great

music, honey and fire;

now the world, heaving and

taking and bristling

and true.