Alexis Quinlan
We Don't Doubt Telluric Currents, But

On the train to Chartres, an idea named wouivre:
the way the snake runs, the way the river slithers, the way
we go about, around. The way we cannot help our roundabout.

You swore it was shoes. Durable sneaks from the malls
of America, sparkling slides from roamable India, sexy
stilettos for which you flew to Milan, literal girl.

Fine. For shoes you were a rattler, you had a biting
knowledge and a gyred course you couldn't help but take.
An aside at Cairo's small airport, a shout in a Utah cave, but

it wasn't just shoes. Admit the teary prayers for freedom, much
talk of hearts: yours cartoon-red and zigzagged broke, and his,
and that game played sleepless nights on the 'net. Now there's

a telluric current to ride, channel for your well-shod schemes
that all end swinging like feathers flung from a high rise,
each loopy descent also set in stone as per this wouivre.

Could be. Fault lines and underground seas are mapped
and named, and every gothic cathedral rises hard over
a pagan altar: the tombstone built to kill it good, or a chastity belt

clamped on goddess worship to quiet the old illiterate faith
in power points, their lyric telluric. Meanwhile inside Chartres,
the lady waits, robed in the blue of day.

A zodiac braids her hair, the Renaissance emoticon (infinite pity)
gouaches her face, and beneath her bare feet writhes a snake.
       Did she beat the groove?

Some of the several ways they paint God's backyard

Because our lives are brief by all the new standards
and because it's good to ponder such matters:
Some of the several ways they paint God's backyard
are on view at the Met. And can help us

see the way it will one day be. Check out flotsam
cumulus on lapis blue and gauze strategic across
floating, bearded men and many hairless cherubim,
each with billowing belly. Yes, serious

paunches our destiny. Also (too) there are ways
to wait for it at the Met, ways that make waiting
a work of art, an expert attendance almost worth
the trip. Like marble tombs chiseled with flowers

and extinct birds and angle-y folk incised and
an inside big enough to keep the essential
handy. Not just jewelry and hair oils for
comeback pomp but toy ships and dishes

and spices, enough stinky spices to fill a mad chef's
dream book, to season each taco at the reunion.
Or (still waiting, pardon the delay) try one gold coin
laid in an Andean boy's mouth 3500 years ago

to cover fees arising, later. (All the heavens cost.)
As for transport, don't fret: the spirit sailors down
the way paddle synchronized on their spirit ship.
And paddle, floating us into a future that (despite

the Met's best restorers' best efforts) yawns
chipped and dusty as the past. Until we serendipitous
stumble into the elaborate stillness of the Japanese
garden, a stillness like a splinter nicked from

eternity, an articulate stillness that would have us know
the auspicious rebirth is now, if we would see it so.