H L Hix

Once boundless, always boundless, but it's not the saltscrabble crust
that crunches underfoot, not the fish schooled here as fossils
in sediment rather than current, not the infinite west
in place of a horizon, but those wind-hecklers, the gulls,
that prove this dessicated place was once a sea.
Scavengers survive here by eating other scavengers.
This is the domain of buzzard and ant, crow and coyote.
Here, while one ribcage bleaches and dries, another scatters.
You are to me not numbers but what numbers substitute for:
the effects of gravity, all the permutations
of a leafpile. A hundred hundred, and counting.
You would be all increase, if increase could substitute for
what can be nothing but itself. You are of numbers
not their counting but their countless permutations.







“When you touched me with something feather, I felt something husk.” is part of a sonnet sequence that originates in a project on my blog.  I conducted a series of one-question “mini-interviews” of poets, in each case about a recent book of hers/his.  (In addition to being posted in the [Q&A] project on my blog, some have been published recently in [The Conversant].)  Then I took a sentence from the interview and a line from a poem in the book, applying them as starting points for the octave and the sestet of the response poem, quoting them in early drafts, and altering them as the poem changed.  This poem developed from my interview of Sally Van Doren, about her book Sex at Noon Taxes