The neon wings of bluebirds break by a sign
posted “Solitude” at the edge of a dirt road
& cyclops moths stare out from the pines.
There is no way to turn back as I reckon
the light of Mercury in the west horizon.
Oh, late June, magnolias summon the dead
who once pinned a bloom in her hair
as if ferried back through a natural gate.
This ancestor I have known in the faint light
where her face appears as smoke drifting.
Virginia, what sickness sleeps in the air
where torn sheets hang from a tree branch?
I’ve seen the white bull grazing on this path,
& what they say is true, there’s only one way past.
Yes, I’ve brought back the horns as proof.