David Gravender


There should be words like “mossehurr,” to indicate
that soft-falling rain that soaks and nourishes the
mossy mats without quite wetting the hair… –
-Robert Michael Pyle

We should have so many words we lack—our mouths
clear-cut slopes the rain drops invisibly through—
a nomenclature native and true as any flora
to spell the space that falls between the glisten
of your hair and moistness of my eye, what passes,
a racing cloud, over everything we say. A word
that would mean the clean aftermath of rainstorms
in spring; your skin, pink and warm, emerging
from fogs of soap; the dream that ghosts
my waking day—a language of evanescence
transpiring from the skin of every moment
though our dictionaries grow mossboled
and softbacked, unbearable dense forests
of verb and noun decomposing in a sunless litter
soft as bogs or the burr of lapsing tongues.


“Mossehurr” originally appeared in The Seattle Review


David Gravender lives with his family in the Convergence Zone (aka Mountlake Terrace). A recipient of an NEA Fellowship, the William Stafford Award, and other prizes, he has published poems in a variety of venues throughout the US, Canada, and UK, including The Seattle Review, The Malahat Review, Descant, Floating Bridge Review/Pontoon, Literary Salt, Riddle Fence, The Cortland Review, and even Metro buses. He earned an MA in English from the University of Toronto and a BA from the University of Washington; he now works as a technical editor.