It Came Down Ice Last Night

And this night now
far from the ire of men
far from the veins of women
and their fast elbows
there is lightning in Bolivia.

Across the dark water
far from our desperate talk and the lake’s
obsessive licking, explosions
soberly ignite the clouds
and with each flash —
the faces we have touched
and lost,
their eyes mute now
in memory.

Thunder shakes us like the dreams
that build strange architecture in our sleep —
white stones, red walls, room
after room catching in your throat.

Who can handle the constellations
in our clear skies that would keep us
from bloodying ourselves
over and beyond the call of beauty?

Barbara Ras is the author of Bite Every Sorrow — which won the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award — and One Hidden Stuff. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she directs Trinity University Press.