MATT W. MILLER

 

 ECHO TOURISM

 

Wind wracks the limbs, lightning 

scars the birch and we burrow 

 

in the scrub by the mill 

where mud is still the riverbank 

 

from the last time 

we made it rain like this. There’s rattle 

 

in the leaves, in levers

left to settle in the mortar

 

and granite of tunnels, turbines,

in the rule of a tower bell.

 

Perhaps this is all   

we’ve to come to expect

 

in all the cotton sugar can spin,

all the tubercular threads 

 

risked in a shuttle’s kiss, the way 

we’re thrown out only to warp

 

back in. Me, I kept wanting  

my redbrick river of city, kept 

 

climbing through it to finger 

all its cantilever

 

and cobblestone, its locks

and its syringe lit bones.

 

But it just kept growing,

like grass mantling graveyards,

 

spooling out beyond my toes, 

until it disappeared completely.

 

Matt W. Miller is the author of the collections The Wounded for the Water, Club Icarus, and Cameo Diner. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Poetry at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. 

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