Plain of the Air

Christopher Cokinos



You go to mountains.


            Moonshiny mica and vireo.


You go to words.


            Fern and footfall.


You to go pieces.




You go to mountains.




You go to words.




You go to pieces.


            Just matter.


You go to mountains.


            Ancient mountains, very tall mountains.


You go to words.


            The word “leaf.” The leaf


You go to pieces.


            is itself a tree. The word “tree.”


You go to mountains.


         Below, bees drone down the raspberry flank, the mooring ridge’s steady, oleaginous hum,

         banner and stamen, powdered thorax, no evasion.


You go to words, the word “shadows”—


         Shadows of clouds blackpool the somethingcene folds of hills, those other mountains deep

         enough to dive through deep enough black enough to be odd


mountains and words

          and irises for new eyes.




Christopher Cokinos is the author of the lyric prose collection Bodies, of the Holocene, and the chapbook Held as Earth. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arizona.