Two Poems
Mark Irwin

When I See This X-Ray of a Hand's

long, jointed bones, floating like a bird's, prehistoric, knuckling

in their brightness, as if to perform some magic trick, to pull

a kerchief from the debut of darkness, I feel dangerous

as a spy, though unwilling as that reach toward something

between milk and sorrow, yet a gift, though be it

a knife, slow like time's, then I feel myself straining, listening

(touch me, touch me) to the long echo of flesh say hello.

The Living

You were reaching for flesh. It
turned to cloud, then the long rain
streaming down your body that slightly carves

of skin a home

for loss. Welcome pilgrim. Make of that broad leaf
a toque, then journey far into the mountains
where snow vanishes as it reaches

and your yellow cap sails.