Christopher Arigo

I found a geophysicist


I find that I say
your name differently
and keep it safe in my mouth—
lips parted—just so—
to allow our sighs escape.

I learn new words: regolith or
batholith, syncline or anticline—

Which one are you? I wonder.
Downward or convex?

(Rego means blanket in Greek,
means cloaked in stone).


Questions sound different
when I ask you—
a softer lilt
end of line.

Or when you counter:
haiku or sonnet—which one are you?

(A haiku is a moment
snatched from time, says Basho).


Questions are weightier
somehow, yet afloat, drifting
almost like answers or mantle.

How far into the earth
are you willing to go?

(I want to be cloaked
in stone with you.

I want to snatch moments
from time for you).

Questions are plates waiting to collide,
waiting to make Himalayas.


Christopher Arigo‘s first poetry collection Lit interim won the 2001-2002 Transcontinental Poetry Prize (selected by David Bromige) and was published by Pavement Saw Press (2003). His second collection In the archives  (2007) was released by Omnidawn Publishing. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University in Pullman.