Building a Mountain
Piling rocks isn’t so hard. You do the same thing
One wheelbarrow after another.
The dirt comes for free as the rocks settle.
Maybe jump on them a few times to be certain.
The paths are there from the wheelbarrow tracks.
Simple, really. And once it’s tall enough,
By God, some creature will start to live on it.
I mean, something has to decide
This side is as good as the other.
And the birds, trying to make it over the crest,
Will occasionally drop a fruit, or at least a seed
Of something. Clouds will get caught on the edges
And tear. Wa-la—springs and streams! Really,
The only difficulty is finding the wheelbarrow.
Gather up the cobwebs in your hands;
Throw them in the pile. The wind
Is full of men today, even though it feels
We’re alone. Strike a match
To burn off the fog, turn it
Into smoke, enlist all the senses.
The wind will turn and march away.
Days so hot even the earth seems
To turn away from the sun and say enough.
Nights that proposition you for something
Indecent, then stalk you day after day,
Hot breath in the shadows. We are in the ruins
Of Heaven, the pillaged home of cast-off gods.
Only the wind holds its breath.
Danielle Hanson received her MFA from Arizona State University. She is author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in over 50 journals. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and has edited Loose Change Magazine and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Daniellejhanson.com.