? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 9

Poetry

Cathy Barber


You Are Standing In—

the sky. It begins
where Earth
lets off, a reverse
image of every
gulch, valley,
rivulet and manhole.

Your knees bend
to its resistance.
Your lungs pull it
deep inside
to fill your very blood
with sky.

It is on the bottom of your
shoes, hugging your
calves and thighs,
affixed like
gold dust on
an illuminated
manuscript.

Take a shower,
it still coats you.

Hop a train
to Calgary, the sky
will be waiting
in all its width
and mundanity.

Duck into an alley,
it ducks with you
like a persistent hit man.

Dust is
after all skin
sloughed,
yours and mine,
the Earth’s.

We tread on ourselves,
our pasts, daily,
breathe in and out,
fail to see the field.

Note: Title/first sentence is from Diane Ackerman’s
A Natural History of the Senses.