Breaking Camp

I am deliberate, breaking camp.
I draw tent pegs out
like a vet pulling quills from a dog.
I don’t tug at the earth
and she settles shaking on my palm.
I fold the tent with Japanese hands,
making envelopes for her;
I fold long-necked birds that fly up
in the warming updraft of the dew.

I am a clock hand in the desert,
slow and circumspect in the rain,
commanding our tent submarine,
a black watch-cap lookout
soaked through again.

I press air from the sleeping bag,
lying full length, fucking the ground.
We make small fires,
extinguish them with small floods.
We will eat everything eventually,
the rock and the elk —
our edges honed smooth,
we fit like all married pieces,
like all married things:
part given, part owned.

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